Seeing Angry Anderson on TV was my first introduction to the whole world of Body Art. I remember thinking he was both a rebel and fearless.
Tattooing was such a niche activity in those days, often performed in dark back street allies behind mechanics or “out the back” of your local salon. And it hurt. Lots.
These days tattooing is much more mainstream – in fact you will find tattoo parlours in the centre of most suburbs with as many chairs and artists as the local hair salon. The rise and rise of tattoos has indeed been prolific and some months ago I set myself to pondering why.
I began asking people why they had tattoos. There were of course some very predictable answers – “cos I wanted to”; “I like them”; even “to cheese off my mum”.
But among the predictable there was the intriguing. A common theme emerged – people were trying to make the elusive permanent. Even trying to make the dead live through more than just a memory. Names, pictures, dates and numbers are all used to etch a permanent reminder of a person who has passed away too early, regretfully, tragically. One person said, “Now they are with me every day.”
This grasping after the past is a search for stability and permanence in a world where nothing is stable or permanent. It all passes away. It is made worse by the fact that we as a society have abandoned belief in God and therefore lost the sense of the eternal. Now we seize after today for when death rolls in there will be no more.
My suspicion is that often, the drawing of a tattoo on your body is a seeking after what we lost when we abandoned God – hope of a permanent, solid, stable future. But when you come and trust in Jesus Christ, your heart’s longings are satisfied. For he promises you a future that is solid, permanent, everlasting and without any negatives. His resurrection from the dead sealed the deal and showed his words and offer true.
Jesus still offers permanence today. Jesus still offers a future that can never perish, spoil or fade. Jesus offers this to you now!
I have no dramas with people getting tattoos! But if you’re looking for something that provides permanence and a real hope for the future, try Jesus. He is less painful and never goes that ugly green colour tattoos do.