Saturday, July 17, 2010

darkness is as light to You

I went to a tattoo place last night. It was the first time I'd ever been to a tattoo place, and not just judgmentally passed outside of one in my car. There was a guy sitting outside who looked like a newspaper, he had so much black ink on him. It looked like he hadn't combed his hair in a long time, but his pony tail was very fashionable.

"What can I help you with?" He asked, taking a drag of his cigarette.
"I called earlier about getting my nose pierced," I replied.
He nodded. Silence.
Okey-dokey. "Is that possible tonight?"
"Yep." Pause.
All-righty-roo. "Like, right now?"
He laughed. "Right now!" Pause.
OMG, just tell me what I'm supposed to do! I just looked at him.
"There's some paperwork on the counter inside you can fill out. Just let me finish smoking this and I'll be right in."

I walked into the parlour, and there was a guy sitting in one of the tattoo chairs, watching House. He had piercings all over his face and tattoos all over himself. I wanted to ask him if he ever watched Miami Ink, but I thought maybe that would give it away that I'm a sheltered Christian girl. I wonder if I actually would've been there had I actually thought about what I was doing. The pictures and bumper stickers stuck all over the walls was so vastly different from the sign outside of Wilmore that says "Jesus Loves You!" as you drive into town.

As I sat in the chair, I squeezed Bali's hand and tried not to read the sayings on the walls. The smoker from out front sat next to me and dropped an f-bomb and maybe some s-words here and there. The things running through my mind were not about how, in a few seconds, this strange guy in tattoos whom I'd never met would be sticking a very sharp needle into my nose, oddly enough. Instead, I was thinking about how I'd been home schooled for most of my life; how, as a pastor's daughter, I ran through more church hallways than school hallways, and how, if a bumper sticker was stuck on any walls near me, it said something about Jesus walking on water or something about His footprints in the sand or something.

I took the few seconds as Tattoo Smoker Man of Few Words (that's his Native American name) bent the metal he was about stick through my nose with a pair of needle-nose pliers, and asked myself, "How am I feeling right now?"

Jesus doesn't call us to live in the Asbury bubble forever. Though I would love to live in that community playing Settlers of Catan whenever possible and eating Bruster's on Banana Thursdays, that's not the real world. And we don't have to be afraid of the real world, because "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12). Not that Jesus calls us to be tattoo artists or get freaky horns implanted on our heads (Bali: "Do you do those here?" Tattoo Smoker Man of Few Words: "No, man. I don't cheat with death"), but if He called you into the darker places of the world, would you go?


Anonymous said...

ohmygoodness. heather, i LOVE it! you are so cute!

sister said...

Who is Bali?


If anyone can pull it off, though, it's you.

Crazy God-incidence---that verse in your blog's title really stood out to me a few weeks ago, and I shared it with the other missionaries at endterm. I am just in awe of it. I have many thoughts about it, which I don't have to prattle on about, but seriously---what if even dark is not dark to God? It actually ceases to be dark. It's all light. It's all part of it. It's all good.

Anyway, lookin' good. I'll probably call you today.

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