The Meaning Behind My Tattoo
“Are you nervous?” He gave me a sideways glance as he looked up from his needle.
“No . . .Should I be?” I retorted confidently, with a hint of sass. I’m sure I was not what he was expecting to walk through the doors of the tattoo parlor. Petite, clean cut, fair-skinned, and meek (at first encounter). But I had been wanting a tattoo for years, and Matt and I decided our six year anniversary would be the perfect cause for such a momentous occasion.
The needle dug into with my wrist like truck tires leaving ruts in the gravel as he traced over the ink. I gritted my teeth and pretended to be tough, but it hurt like hell.
Every so often, I pull my sleeve up and let my fingers trace the delicate outline of the mustard plant. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.” Jesus’s words from the gospel of John ring in my head. And then swiftly and unremittingly I’m reminded of the verse “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else…”.
To be perfectly honest, I needed this tattoo. Not because my wrist looks bare without it, but because my life is bare without the reminder of what I’m living for. Or rather who I’m living for.
when I look at the delicate, slender stem holding tiny blossoms, I am reminded that everything begins as a seed
My prayer is that every time I see the roots beneath the thin line of soil, I remember that the investments I am making are often the ones that go unseen. That the breadth of my petals is merely a manifestation of the depth of my roots. And when I look at the delicate, slender stem holding tiny blossoms, I am reminded that everything begins as a seed. Even though the mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds, at full bloom it grows into a majestic tree with strong branches and warm, yellow buds. And wherever I stand right now in the process of becoming, I know intrinsically that I am still blooming. And the best is yet to be.
This year the word I have chosen to guide and direct my focus is Seek. Stemming first from that prodding verse, “Seek the Kingdom above all else and He will give you everything you need.” But what does that look like practically? My immediate thought is of the game we used to play as kids, lodging ourselves in tiny, dark corners, snickering silently as our pursuers sought us out. When I think of the word seek, it feels daunting. Like, if I am the one looking, does that mean God is the one hiding? Then, when I was journaling my tangled web of thoughts this morning, the words spilled off the tip of my pen, “God wants to be found.” I stared at the phrase and breathed a sigh of relief.
I believe what God is asking me, and perhaps some of you, is to enter this year with open eyes and an open heart, expecting to find what we are looking for. This year, I am seeking out adventure, justice, beauty, kindness, and love. But most importantly, I am seeking His Kingdom, believing that in the midst of a very weary and broken world, I will find what I am looking for.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13