Although I have never gotten a tattoo, I have considered getting one on several occasions over the years.
I've contemplated everything from a small cross to an Ichthus symbol to something like this:
I've even thought about getting Joshua 1:9 or Nick and Adrienne's names etched inside a heart somewhere on my body, but I've never had the nerve to go for it.
One of my friend's sons had Joshua 1:9 tattooed on his arm in honor of Nick.
Another friend's son had a large thumbs-up symbol tattooed onto the calf of one of his legs in memory of Nick.
It makes me smile when I think of Nick's friends who decided to carry his memory with them in a visible way for the rest of their lives even though
I know I will continue to keep my memory etched only on my heart.
When I think of my friends who have tattoos engraved into their bodies,
I know that each of them carries with them a story about when and why they decided to permanently "ink" their skin.
Being "inked" offers some people a way to express in a very personal and artistic outlet a significant season in their life.
I don't know if you are reading this with or without a tattoo on your body, but the truth is we've all been "inked" by life in a figurative sense.
We've had experiences that have left lasting marks on our hearts and in our minds.
Some of these experiences have been good.
Others have been anything but good.
In their book Inked: Choosing God's Mark to Transform Your Life, Kim Goad and Janet E. Kusiak take the concept of being "inked" and pen a book that gets to the core of who we are and how we allow God to be a critical part of our identity. This book takes the very popular society trend of being tattooed and compares it to the different ways our lives become etched by circumstances and the choices we make because of these circumstances. It then challenges us to allow Christ to permanently etch Himself on our mind.
I'm excited to share this book with my minister, because I believe it can be a great resource for reaching a large population in our community. I love the idea of our church creating a small group centered around the study of this book.
I'm also looking forward to using this book in jail ministry; because I know the women (many of whom have multiple tattoos) will relate to the lingo, the concepts, and the analogies used throughout its pages.
Here is an online summary I found of the book that might be helpful if you are planning to share the book's basic premise in a church newsletter:
A tattoo can tell a lot about a person. Some reflect a rebellious season, like the demons
that cover Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. Some express religious ties, like actor Mark
Wahlberg's once tattooed rosary. Some are symbols of love and loyalty; Some serve as
remembrances, like rapper Lil Wayne's teardrops, representing deaths of loved ones.
Inked by Janet E. Kusiak and Kimberly D. Goad uses
the language of tattoos to explore the question: what has marked your life? Is it a deep well of
pain? Is it emotional baggage? Is it depression? In spite of events that are so deeply etched
into our hearts, we have the power to change the marks that life makes on us. An estimated quarter of Americans ages 18-50 have a tattoo. What better way to show how
one of the most polarizing of cultural icons can, in fact, be a metaphor for what people have in
common? Using stories and slang from tattoo culture, the authors look at the new way Christ
desires that we be inked by Him, as the authors explore the marks that have been made on our
Below are a few links you might want to look at if you are thinking about reading this book and/or using it as part of your ministry.
CLICK HERE to visit the Inked by God website.
CLICK HERE to order Inked as an ebook.
CLICK HERE to order Inked from Amazon.
FREE ONLINE DISCUSSION GUIDE TO ACCOMPANY THE BOOK: CLICK HERE.
I read this review of Inked online and felt it was worth sharing -
I began and finished Inked last night. Any text that references Viktor Frankl within the first 7 pages has my undivided, most likely obsessive, attention. Throughout the entire text, the authors seamlessly blend elements of pop-culture, psycho-philosophical history, literature, Christianity - and most importantly, reality, to produce a refreshingly positive take on our "marked up" modern existence.
As a blogger, I am frequently asked to share book reviews about new books in the Christian market. I have to say that this books strikes me as one that has the power to transform every reader who dares to turn its pages and absorb the message it shares.