Darren sat alone in Bodega Bean diligently working through math formulas from a THEA work book and a Bible opened on his table when i stopped to talk to him about his Tattoo Story. From across the room i could see his traditional portrait of Jesus on his arm. You have seen it before hanging in sunday school rooms and church hall ways, the blond-haired blue-eyed gentle face of Jesus. Darren told me that it was to remind him that Jesus was his savior… i was kinda expecting the story to end there, when he lifted his arm and to show me a lion on the inside of his bicep. Darren told me it was the contrast of Jesus’s love, it was to remind him of his ferocity. As i was reminded last sunday God embodies equal parts love and passion for us as he does passion and ferocity for justice.
On his left arm is is an eagle taking off into the sun with a banner that reads
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to him that hath no might he increaseth strength.30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:31 but they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
The image of the eagle has been used for years as one of power and freedom but when placed next to this scripture it brings a reminder that we only have these through Jesus
i learned something talking to Darren…If you ask to hear someone’s Tattoo Story be prepared to hear all of their story. Darren begin to talk and the story of his life that was wrapped up in the images of his arm started flowing out. His past life, his hopes and dreams, his struggles with sin started pouring out like water. For twenty minutes i just sat and listened to this fellow man unload. And that’s when it made me wonder where are the other men? Why did he choose to tell me his story? Didn’t he have friends? Buddies who do life with him? Did he choose to tell me just because i asked?
Darren told me before i left he hoped his images would always be a testimony and witness to God’s glory. i know just everything about his life i know he works at large hospital an hour north of me, but i don’t know his last name or how to get a hold him. For those of you that read this and pray, remember Darren in your prayers.