These two statements form the foundation for my reluctance to get a tattoo. There may or may not be biblical reasons against permanent body markings, but I'm not going there. For me, it's my personal hang-ups. How could I choose something to place on my skin forever?
It would be impossible for me to choose a design, first of all. Should my tattoo be an image, or text? If an image, realistic or artistic? If text, what words and what kind of font?
Then there's the artist. Allowing someone to permanently ink me would require my complete trust in that person's competence, artistry, and commitment.
Most serious of all is my tendency to dig at my own imperfections. One might call this obsession. When I write, I edit... and edit... and edit... until I choose to hit "send" and walk away. When I knit, I plan on making two or three dry runs at a project until I'm satisfied that it looks good enough to continue. When I draw, I compose geometric figures, because I cannot replicate the intricacies I see in my mind.
If I were to get a tattoo, I would obsess over it, learning every dot and line. Measuring, comparing, evaluating detail upon detail, until I realized the flaws. And the next logical step is to see only the flaws. I'm afraid I would hate the whole thing, just for the sake of one millimeter of ink.
On the other hand, random imperfection is the silent asset of the greatest artistry of all: God's creation. A mountain is beautiful thanks to the jaggedness of its ridges. Towering Douglas fir trees are not mirror images of one another. One bird has more red plumage than its siblings.
Yes, there's the whole body-image thing. Talk about hang-ups! But I am learning to accept myself as I am, not arguing with my Maker or trying to bargain with Him to remove this trait or those few inches. Either my physical being matters not a whit (because it's the spiritual stuff that endures), or the stuff that bugs me is allowed to help me to practice patience and graciousness.
For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works,
And my soul knows it very well.
I have a pile of my mother's DNA, and a touch of my father's, but I have been crafted by the Master and it's all good.
Oh, and my tattoo? It's just a temp, a free henna opportunity that I get to smile over for a couple of weeks. See how it blends perfectly with my random freckles?
|henna, top of wrist|