Sunday, April 7, 2013

On being tattooed and Christian

I dye my hair, more than one color.

I have enough tattoos that they are measured in hours, not number.

I still have somewhat of a potty mouth, though I am recovering.

I want Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the USA.

And I don't think the government should get to decide what happens in a uterus or a bedroom.

I am a Christian. I love Jesus, and He alone has saved me.

Sometimes all these pieces don't add up to what I think a Christian woman should look like. Sometime they don't add up to what society thinks a Christian woman should look like. Frequently, they don't add up to what the church thinks a Christian woman should look like.

I am drawn to women who identify their beliefs via uniform. Crushed when I discovered all nuns did not have to wear habits. I will gaze, longingly even, at the Mennonite women in our community (so much so that my husband has kicked me under the table), dying to know the difference between the black and white head coverings. Wanted to join in on the conversations of Pentecostal women I see at restaurants. To me, these women wear the uniform of a Christian.

I struggled to make those garments mine, struggled with what I thought I should be. I have covered tattoos, avoided political discussions, wanted to bake and preserve. I even tried to stay at home once.

Because I assumed that is what Jesus would want a Christian woman to look like.

I married a good man. He is God-fearing, love your wife as the Lord loves the church, Sunday school attending, Republican, music minister's kid who by all accounts should have married the quiet girl who sings in the choir.

Once I asked him, "Are you sorry you married a crazy lady?"

His only response, "I am sorry I didn't marry her sooner."

He chose me.

All of me: the single mother, the tattooed flesh, the overuse of the word a@#, the doubter.

So did Jesus. Jesus chose to make me, the way I am. He knew before I was thought of the bad choices I would make, the suffering I would both cause and endure and he still made me.

 (I wish I could take credit for the following revelation, but I can't; I read it in a blog comment somewhere. Thank you to whoever wrote it. Yes, God knows exactly how we are going to screw up before we do it. Remember when David asked God if he could build the temple. God told David that his son would build it. His son. God and David had this conversation before Bathsheba, before the death of David's first child, before Solomon. God KNEW exactly what was in store for David. He didn't just use David's mistakes for the glory of God.)

Knowing all these things, God still made my flesh, loved me, commanded me (just as He commanded every other believer) to love Him most, love others, and make disciples.

And because I believe in Him, I am a Christian.

May I focus on people seeing this by my actions and not worrying about my uniform.

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