Do you remember this scene from Rocky III when Clubber Lang (played by master-thespian Mr. T) gives his prediction for his upcoming fight with Rocky?
Do you know who won the Academy Award for best screenplay the year that Rocky III came out? No? Me, either. But it wasn’t Sylvester Stallone. In fact, he wasn’t even nominated. And that’s a shame. Clubber’s one word prediction of “pain” is the movie line that I quote the most. And pain is also the reason that I do not have any tattoos.
I am not a pansy; my pain threshold is the stuff of legend. If I have a splinter, I will dig into my skin with whatever I can find until it is removed. I can pull out multiple nose hairs without flinching. I have been the recipient of numerous noogies and indian burns, yet I have never shed a tear over either. I’m tough, but I refuse to purposefully put myself through pain for a tattoo.
But if this ever changes I have a few possible tattoos in mind.
1. “Weird” Al Yankovic’s face. Why are we still putting the quotation mark’s around the word “weird?” I have never seen his name written without the word weird in front of it. In fact, his career would probably not have been as successful if he was just Al Yankovic. Anyway, I’m so White and Nerdy that having his face permanently embedded into my skin sort of sounds like a good idea.
2. “Krispy Kreme 4 Life.” If you follow me on twitter and were paying attention this past Friday, I said that this was tattooed across my stomach. Confession: I was only kidding. But it sounds like a great idea. And I’m pretty sure that I could get a free donut out of it. And I could probably get out of a few tickets with it, too.
3. An “M” on each cheek. So when I bent over it would spell……
4. A ’72 El Camino SS across my back. There is something about those old car-trucks that stirs my redneck soul. Sort of like when I successfully replaced a commode. Or when I eat a turkey leg at the fair. Or when I say “stinkin”” from the pulpit. It would hurt, but it would be awesome-sauce. Or whatever the kids are saying these days.
5. Realistic looking eyes on my eyelids. The pain of the having my eyelids tattooed would be offset by being able to escape the excruciating pain of meaningless meetings. Plus, it would really freak out my wife’s poodle. Have I mentioned how much I can’t stand her. The poodle, not my wife. My wife is great.
Honestly, though, I have no plans to get a tattoo. And if I did there is another tattoo that would be more appropriate: a bull’s-eye.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Jesus said that those who follow Him would be hated. Not just pastors or leaders or teachers or deacons; all believers. Sometimes I handle the hatred and hateful words/actions with strength and perseverance.
But sometimes I grow weary and weak.
I feel like I have a bull’s-eye a mile wide right between my shoulder blades.
And it seems like it is being hit again and again and again.
I know that my God is big enough to carry me through these times, that He hasn’t left me or forsaken me. This knowledge does not take away the pain, though.
But I know that if I keep on holding on to His hand, the dark clouds will eventually pass. The sun is not gone; its light is merely being obscured for a moment.
It’s going to be okay.
The pain is real. So is God. And so are His promises.
It really is going to be okay.
(Do you have any tattoos? What are some other tattoos that I should consider getting? When was the last time you went through a period of darkness? Share away!)