When I got my tattoo, it might have seemed like I was being a bit of a follower. They are a pretty common sight, after all! But I’ve always wanted one.
Why did I want one? Is it rebellion? I know a lot of us look at people who have tattoos and think, “Oh, there’s a rebellious side to that one.” We just know it. Whether it be quiet or it be loud, there is something rebellious inside of that person.
Getting a tattoo goes against the grain. Even though you see a lot of them these days, there is something inside that person that said, “I’m getting one.” Maybe it says, “Well, my mom and dad don’t like them, and they didn’t want me to get one, but I did it.” Or maybe it says, “You know what? I’ve been so good my whole life that I just want to get something that’s out there.”
Of course, there are also the accidental tattoos. The mistakes, if you will. I’ve asked people about their tattoos and they’ve said, “You know, I was drunk when I got that. It really doesn’t mean anything.” You hear that a lot, right? “I really don’t know why I got this tattoo, I kind of woke up one morning and had it.” But fortunately, I’m not the kind of man who would drink too much and get tattooed.
I talked to a lot of people before I decided. Different people have different opinions about them, but everybody agrees that a tattoo is permanent. When you tattoo your body, that picture or that message is going to be there for life. I mean, you can get it taken off with lasers, but that’s a very painful experience! I didn’t really want to do that!
I had to make sure that when I put something on my body, it would mean something.
So I asked, “What am I trying to express from a tattoo?” I didn’t want just any tattoo. I didn’t want a Major League Baseball logo, or the baseball with flames on it.
I wanted mine to be a conversation piece. I want people to see it and say, “What is that?” So mine’s not a standard tattoo. It’s not a cross, it’s not a Bible verse, and it’s not any other recognizable Christian symbol or message. I didn’t want to do anything obviously Christian, like John 3:16. People already know that I’m a man who lives by faith in the Almighty God, so John 3:16 wouldn’t advance the conversation in any meaningful way. I needed something that would arouse their curiosity, and prompt them to ask me about it. I wanted someone to look at my tattoo and say, “What does that mean?”
And that’s why my tattoo is not in English. I put something on my body in Latin. My forearm now reads, “Solus Christus.”
People see that and they say, “What is that?” And I say, “Well, it’s one of the Five Solas of church history.” And when I tell them that, they ask, “Oh, what’s the big deal about that?”
I’ll tell you next time. See you Friday.