This is an issue for some, and it’s an eye-roller for others. But not all think tats are a good idea, especially the more visible down-the-arm or around-the-neck or all-over-the-face kind. Flannery O’Connor you may remember used a tattoo in “Parker’s Back” to create a sense of the dramatic and grotesque.
I am married to a tattoo artist. We are both covered in tattoos. We have mementos of our faith and Bible verses reminding us that we fight not against flesh and blood. You would think that we had pornographic images and demons eating babies with the amount of backlash we have received from those within the Church. Before I go any further, I wanted to make it clear that I am not a hater of the Church. I am not going to write a disgruntled manifesto lamenting my woes. I love the Church, but we have a long way to go until we love in the manner God has called us to love….In three weeks I should be moving across the Country to minister to people in one of the roughest neighborhoods in the United States. We had the job in the bag. They loved our hearts and they loved our skill sets. We visited the church, served with the leadership team, and fell in love with the community. We were surrounded by the poor and marginalized. Gang members, pimps and prostitutes lined the streets. Our tattoos gave us instant street cred. The people in the community welcomed us with open arms.
A little over one week ago, we received a phone call. The leadership team had voted again and was split down the middle. The source of contention? Our tattoos. It wasn’t so much that we had tattoos, it was the amount that was the problem. They were worried about what people in the community would think. It was like a kick to the gut. In three weeks, we will have no job. In August we have to be out of our home. What should have been a future in ministry on the horizon has now turned into uncertainty and rejection.
We were judged not by the content of our character or heart for the Lord, but because of ink. In our skin.