We think a lot about how permanent tattoos are. Permanence is kind of the point when it comes to tattoos! But tattoos can also be visible or hidden. The tattoo on my left forearm reads, “No Man Shall Live for Himself.” This was my second tattoo. And I keep it where I can see it.
At first, I didn’t think I’d ever get any tattoos at all. Obviously that changed, because you’ve been reading about my “Solus Christus” tattoo. That sola is so important to me, and a point came when I realized I was definitely going to get a tattoo of it.
When I got my “Solus Christus” tattoo, I thought that was it. I didn’t think I’d get another one. Everybody was telling me, “Tattoos are addicting! You have to be careful! Once you get one, you’ll want more!” But I really didn’t think that was going to be me. I thought I’d stop at one.
On the other hand, I think I always knew, in the back of my mind, that there would be more. There are some other things that mean just as much to me as that sola.
First, though, I had to see how that “Solus Christus” tattoo sat with me. It turns out I enjoyed it! I really liked the conversations that it started.
I had the same thing in mind for my second tattoo. I wanted it to be something really deep and meaningful to me, and I wanted it to be a conversation starter.
That’s why the second one says, “No Man Shall Live for Himself.” This is very meaningful to me. It is the standard that I have set for my life. It’s the standard I want to live by. I want it for my family, too, for my wife and sons, and my friends. I want to be known as a servant.
Living as a servant, like Jesus did, is not always easy. So I like the reminder. Putting it on my left forearm means I get reminded a lot, because I use my left arm a lot! I do everything with my left arm. I start my day with it. I’m in the mirror, combing my hair, getting ready for the day, and I see the tattoo.
It’s always there reminding me, in everything that I do, whether it be in photographs, whether it be at work, or whether it be simply getting ready for the day.
And at the time I got it, I was pitching for the Giants. I pitched with my left arm, so the tattoo was always there to remind me of why I was out there on the mound. “No Man Shall Live for Himself.”
So putting the tattoo on my left arm really meant something. It solidified who I am for others, by saying, “Hey, this is what I stand for.”
It’s easy to read, and it’s not hidden. In fact, when I was pitching, it had a lot of visibility. I’ve never wanted to hide it. I don’t want to hide what I stand for.
A lot of tattoos can be hidden. I have a couple that can be hidden, one on my shoulder and another on my back (more on that another day). But unless I wear a long-sleeved shirt, “No Man Shall Live for Himself” is always visible. And I never want to cover it up. I want it to be seen by everybody. I want people to know that this is who I am, and this is what I stand for.
And just as I had hoped, it has started a lot of amazing conversations!
More on that next time. See you Thursday.