“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4: 9-12
So, I did something that I never thought I would do. I got a tattoo!! I never had anything against them, but I didn’t have anything that I wanted permanently etched on my body, until now.
My second post on this blog told the story of my life motto and where it come from, “Love People, every step of the way”. I won’t recount the whole story, but since writing that post, these words have become more deeply entrenched in my life. The entire time I was on the road I found myself dwelling on their meaning. I became more and more convinced that they are biblical and that they are the mission for my life. I came up with many ways to interpret the words; love, people, step, and way. These words continually challenge me to live more intentionally. Even today at church the pastor made the statement that we are not commanded to change the world but we are commanded to love our neighbor. We aren’t typically in situations where we can change the world, but we can always love our neighbors. This motto reminds me to love more like Jesus, always, everywhere I go.
When I moved to Roanoke I came up with the idea of getting a tattoo embedding these words on my body. As I contemplated I realized that this has been my life motto for 4 years and I don’t foresee that changing. I started thinking about designs. Over the course of a year, the idea simplified and shifted from my ankle to my foot but stayed basically the same.
I talked about it enough that after moving to New York my friend Katie actually drew and made temporary tattoos of the concept. This was wonderful because it allowed me to see what it would really look liked day by day. It added to my confidence that it really was something I wanted permanently. Finally, I booked it!!! As crazy as it sounds I got a destination tattoo. You see if I had gotten it in NY I would not have been able donate blood for a year, but in VA it was fine!
On Memorial Day weekend I traveled to Roanoke with plans visit friends and get a tattoo. Fortunately, my friend Ricky was gracious enough to distract me during the process. He kept listening to me talk about climbing stuff that he may or may not have actually been cared about. Every time he saw me take a deep breathe or wince he would come up with another question to get me rambling again. The trip was a success, it was great to visit friends and the tattoo part wasn’t too bad!
Anyway, I now have a foot tattoo that represents how I try to live. I have the words “Love People, every step of the day”, looking up at me every morning. I also have the cross, representing my savior Jesus Christ, who loved the world to the point of death for sinners like me. The dove is a symbol of life and purity, it is flying over the cross because these are the gifts of Jesus Christ’s love, sacrifice, and victory over death. The tattoo includes footsteps approaching the cross representing my continual journey to be closer to him and love more like him. Finally, the words encapsulate the image in a heart because I want to live with heart.
Please let me know if you would like a more personal explanation of why Jesus is so important to me.