My Hidden Tattoos

My Hidden Tattoos

August 15, 2014

” … the LORD‘s declaration. ‘I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.'” Jeremiah 31:33b (HCSB)

I didn’t mean to stare, but I couldn’t help it.

After exchanging a quick smile, she continued placing grocery bags into her cart, while my eyes glanced back at her arms.

Tattoos covered every inch of skin from her tiny shoulders to her delicate wrists.

Images of hearts, religious symbols, quotes and names of those I imagined she loved over the years. Woven together in a tapestry of flesh and ink.

Some of the designs had faded with time, while others popped with fresh, bold colors. Forever inscribed with permanent ink from a tattoo machine.

It was obvious she had a passion for art … and a relationship with a trusted tattoo artist.

If I ever wanted to get a tattoo, how could I possibly decide on one design? I thought to myself.

As she gathered her things and left the store, I wondered about the sting of the tattoo gun and how it must have hurt.

Lord, if I chose to go through the pain, where should my special tattoo be placed?

To my surprise, today’s key verse from Jeremiah immediately came to mind:

“I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

As a grin emerged from my soul, I whispered to Him, Thank You, Lord, as I pictured my heart covered with colorful tattoos.

Inscribed Scriptures placed ever so carefully with great detail. Engraved instructions written by the holy finger of my Heavenly Father.

Some had faded over the years. Weathered by life’s trials.

Others were stained with bold, fresh colors. Some were recently tattooed as I had claimed new promises.

It was a fresh perspective right there in the grocery checkout line! Something totally unexpected, but wonderful at the same time. A teachable moment. His heart connecting with mine.

Originally, God’s teachings were written on tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18) and scrolls made from parchment or papyrus (Jeremiah 36:2). This was established under the old covenant.

But as believers under the new covenant, God has chosen to place His Word on our hearts, at the very center of our being, making it familiar and readily available to us. He carefully positions His promises over our hearts to protect our emotions, desires and perceptions of ourselves and others.

As life moves on and years go by, I long for the Master Artist to continue etching His Word on my heart until every inch is covered. Inside and out. I hope you do, too.

Although these special tattoos aren’t visible for everyone to see, I know they are there and that’s what is most important to me.

I can’t wait to see my tattooed heart when I get to heaven one day. As I kneel before God and if I dare to ask, “Lord, do You have a tattoo?” I won’t be surprised if He reaches out, and there in the palm of His hand, my name beautifully inscribed for all of eternity. A tattoo, of sorts, that will never fade away or be removed.

“Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm.” (Isaiah 49:15b-16, TLB)

Lord, Thank You for placing Your Word on my heart so that it’s always available to me. When life is difficult and nothing seems to go right, help me remember You are near and Your promises are true. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NIV)

2 Corinthians 3:3, “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (ESV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Looking to add more of God’s Word into your day? Love these devotions? Consider getting a copy of the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, for yourself or a friend. It’s an entire Bible that’s also filled with inspirational devotions from Lysa TerKeurst and the Proverbs 31 Ministries team.

Visit Leah DiPascal’s blog to continue this conversation and receive more encouragement today.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? Is it one you’ve memorized recently or have you known it for a long time? Why not challenge yourself to discover a new favorite verse this week?

How do you feel knowing God has written His Word on your heart? What words come to mind? Take a minute to thank Him and make a list of things you’re grateful for today.

© 2014 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. this was beautiful…

    • I think that my favorite verse would have to be “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.” I love how God makes me lie down in green pastures by calm waters. He is always le…ading me to adventures that are what He has in mind for my life. Knowing this, I think that God only wants what’s best for me, no matter what my life is like.
      ” … the LORD‘s declaration. ‘I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.’” Jeremiah 31:33b (HCSB)
      Wow! What a very powerful declaration! I ♥ what God is telling us tonight. We are His people, and He is our God. He has put His teaching within us. He has
      written it on our hearts. It’s like He has left His mark permanently, as if leaving a tattoo. God’s tattoo is His word, hidden in our hearts.Originally, His word had been written down. In Bible days, it was written on parchment or papyrus. Some parts of His word weren’t written until later, though. What is written in God’s word has never changed. God is the same today, tomorrow, and forever. He was also the same yes-terday.
      I’m so glad that God’s word is now written on my heart. His word can be the one weapon I need to handle whatever stressful situations that may come along throughout my life. God’s words can also be used to encourage others in their great time of need. God is always writing our story, which is His unique story about us.
      “Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm.” (Isaiah 49:15b-16, TLB)
      Wow! What a very powerful verse! Even if others have forgotten about us, God is never going to forget us. How can He forget us if He has worked so hard to create us? He’s the master artist, who has formed us out of the dust of this earth. Isn’t that amazing?
      “Lord, Thank You for placing Your Word on my heart so that it’s always available to me. When life is difficult and nothing seems to go right, help me remember You are near and Your promises are true. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.~ Leah DiPascal”
      Wow! What a very powerful prayer! God’s promises are always true, no matter what we may hear in the world. Only God knows what’s absolutely the very best for us. He guides our footsteps in the right paths that are positive. We can then encourage others the very same way.
      Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NIV)
      Wow! What a powerful verse! Yet, this is true. We don’t want to go against
      anything that God’s word says. We’d much rather do everything that is in His
      beautiful word.
      2 Corinthians 3:3 (ESV), “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
      Wow! What a powerful reminder! God’s word isn’t written with ink on tablets of paper or stone. Ultimately, it’s written on our hearts. God is forever enscribing His word on our hearts. See More

      • Nico, thank you for sharing such wonderful insights. I agree … only God knows what is best for us. Reading Scripture is a daily reminder of God’s love and faithfulness towards His children. Blessings, Leah

        • I have a secret tattoo in a hidden place where cancer was removed from inside my body. The surgeon tattooed the place where it was removed so when the doctors go back to recheck the area they know where the growth was. This tattoo is a marking that points to the healing that God provided. When the doctors cannot explain why I recovered, why all the issues have resolved with minimal medical intervention, I can proclaim the healing of a mighty God. It is my secret tattoo

  2. I agree, what a beautiful message! Thank you Leah!!!

  3. I always wanted to hve α tatoo but evrytime I considered it I always wondered if god would be happy abt me decorating my body so I neva got it as I ponder on it I realise gods tatoos in our heart were no1 can see are the best lookn tatoos that’s only felt by us

    • Loshnee, God’s Word beautifully inscribed on your heart will never be removed or taken from you. His love for you is constant and His promises are true! Blessings, Leah

  4. What a beautiful message! Surely the Holy Spirit is leading you by the hand. Thank you for following your heart.

  5. This has blessed mY heart… Thanks foR this beautiful pieCe

  6. I. Love. This.

  7. Iris Collins says:

    A friend introduced me to Proverbs 31 daily devotionals a few months ago. They have all been an encouragement and inspiration to me but today it hit my heart like never before. The picture of our hearts being covered with tattoos of God’s word was amazing Thank You so much.

    • Iris, I’m so glad your friend introduced you to P31 and it’s wonderful to hear how God is using our devotions to encourage and inspire you. He loves you so much! Blessings, Leah

  8. What a wonderful message, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts today. It’s given me much to ponder and I think about how Gods word is tattooed on my heart.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had never thought about God’s word being tattooed on my heart. What a truly beautiful picture! And a great reminder that God’s word is always with us!

  10. Love this! I have a small, tiny tattoo that is about 25 years old on my ankle. I am amazed at this latest craze of “tat sleeves” and full on body art. Some of the most beautiful women I see have done this. I am always a bit disappointed that they have decorated a perfectly good, healthy, beautiful body with “tackiness”. But I cannot judge as I have my small one. I truly understand the love of art. Reading this gives me a fresh perspective! AND. I. LOVE. IT! Thank you!

    • Deane, I too love how God’s Word gives us a fresh perspective and rich insight as we embrace His love for us and seek to know Him more. Thank you for sharing your comments today. Blessings, Leah

  11. LOVE this Leah! My daughter wants a tattoo and I have tried to discourage her; however, now I can tell her she has many already…inscribed by God on her beautiful heart! Amazing picture!

  12. Wow, what a great message Leah. Thanks for the image of my tattooed heart. You’ve inspired me to find a new favorite verse.

  13. Thank you for today’s fresh perspective on tattoos. It is art with special meaning to a person that has a tattoo. I love the imagery that Gods message is inscribed on our hearts & our name tattooed on Gods hand. Thank you! I have 4 tattoos!

  14. A beautiful perspective on the thought of a tattoo. I don’t have any on the outside, nor do I ever care to get one personally, but I have them etched on my heart for eternity! Thank you Leah for this beautifully written devotion!!

  15. Everyone has said exactly what I was thinking too. AWESOME reminder. This really impacted me. Thank you for sharing the profound way God showed you this. P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L. I have no other words..but I just had to chime in and tell you..me too, to everything everyone said. Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Amy, thank you for sharing your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to write down you thoughts so others would be blessed by your words. I’m definitely blessed by what you’ve written here! Leah

  16. Love it! Now when someone asks if I’ll ever get a tat, I can share – I have one – on my heart, put there by God, the Master artist! In this season of my life, my verses are II Cor 1:3-4 – love the way the Father uses our ‘hard times’ to offer healing to those going through similar situations. It reminds me of Prov. 25:11 – ‘like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances’. Would I have chosen the path of pain God had for me? Not in foresight but in hindsight, there have been HUGE blessings! Thanks so much for this reminder of whose we are and the value we are to Him.

    • Deb, thank you for sharing these beautiful verses and how God has taken your pain and weave great purpose and blessings throughout it. Only He can do such a beautiful thing when our hearts are broken and the path is so difficult. I’m praying for you today. Leah

    • Bless you Deb! I just love your perspective and plan to share your thoughts about tattoos (hope that’s OK). I’m so thankful for this ministry and the way it brings believers together to teach and encourage!

  17. Deane Zimmerman,
    You can’t call something “tacky” and then claim not to judge people. It doesn’t work that way.
    I’ve been trying to decide on a tattoo that represents my faith and I think that I’ve decided on an anchor and Hebrews 6:19 The Lord being an anchor of hope for my soul is such a beautiful picture. He will hold me firm in the storm.

    • Agreed. I have an anchor with a heart and cross implemented into it, and around the anchor it says HOPE ANCHORS THE SOUL. It reminds me daily that no matter what I am going through that there is always HOPE in Jesus, and he will keep me grounded. Even on the hardest days when I feel like giving up.

  18. As I get ready to drop my only daughter off at college tomorrow, it is such a comfort to know that God has HER name tattooed in the middle of HIS palm! And as her mom with mixed emotions, HE has ME tattooed in HIS palm, too. Thanks for the encouragement this morning.

    • Becky, my oldest son leaves for college tomorrow too. I’m sharing thoughts with you today as we both can rest in knowing children will be taken care of by the One who loves them the most. Sweet Blessings, Leah

  19. Debbie Sandberg says:

    WOW! That made my morning! What a beautiful thought! That our hearts are tattooed with scripture and images from God. I love knowing God has my name tattooed on His hand. What love and grace!
    Thank you for a wonderful devotion to start my morning! Bless you!

  20. Simply beautiful. Just warmed my heart this morning!! Right to my spirit. Thank you and Bless you

  21. CarolAnne says:

    Leah, this is such a beautiful way to “get” a tattoo : )
    Week-end Blessings to All! xo

  22. Lee Milstead says:

    I love this! I was just sharing with a friend how his Word becomes etched in our heart just spending time in His word starts the process and we do not have to be daunted by memorizing…Gods word is living and He writes it there as we dwell there..I love this devotion!

  23. He reveals such wonderful insights through you Leah!

  24. Thank for your inspiration. The Spirit has a message in everyone, for everyone. Your message has been heard. God does answer prayer. He has answed
    mine this day. “Thy word is a into my , and a light unto my path”.(Psa.119:105).
    I stumbled over my pant’s leg as I was getting undressed last night with out a light. Yes light is needed to see where you are going or what you are doing. The Bible scriptures is the light to show us the way through this evil dark world so we won’t stumble. Thanks again . You’ve shared that wisdom comes from God that teaches to guide us. Be blessed.

    • Ruth, I just love Psalms 119:105. It’s been inscribed on my heart since I was a little girl. I learned it in Sunday School, accompanied with the melodies from a simple wooden piano. It was how my Sunday School teacher taught her students to memorize Scripture. We’d sing the words instead of quoting them. Blessings, Leah

    • Karla Conant says:

      Oh one of my favorite scripture passages and I have to share an insight our pastor shared with us….every time I see or hear this verse I remember His words!!! In Biblical times the lanterns that they had only lite the path directly under their feet…not far our into the distance, only where you were right then. So it is with how our Father leads us sometimes….not seeing the whole picture right now, but trusting His light to lead us one step at a time!!!
      Hope you have a blessed day!!!

  25. Leah, This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing. My 2 children and I were just talking about tattoos yesterday! I got to share this devotional with them and all 3 of us learned something I don’t think we’ll ever forget. May God bless you!

    • Jen, I love that you’re sharing these insights with your children today! You are faithfully equipping the next generation with the living Word of God. Great job, Mom! I love it. Blessings, Leah

  26. Bill Pierson says:

    Read Lev 19:28

  27. This is an absolutely beautiful truth, presented so well with the concept of a tattoo. These ‘tattoos’ change our hearts and shape them. I pray I’ll be an example to our 2 year old son of how to be transformed from the inside out by God’s word.

    Thank you for this today!!

  28. Rubino maxwell says:

    Thanks we’ll done I really liked the insure.
    Oh and so glad God’s writings & art is written on fleshy tables of our heart .
    And can only be visible through the Holy
    Through the Holy Spirit thanks be unto The Almighty God.

  29. janice baldwin says:

    THIS IS SO, SO GOOD!!! THANK YOU!!!!! JB

  30. Jennifer D. says:

    Makes me wonder, was my name tattooed on His palm with a nail?

  31. This brought tears to my eyes. We all are a blessed people & have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for reminding me how much he loves us all.

  32. Loved this Leah! I will remember this every time I see a tatoo!

  33. Thank you for writing this, a friend shared it with me and I LOVED IT!! I founded INK 180 in 2011 to do FREE tattoo removals and coverups for former gang members, survivors of sex trafficking, survivors of domestic violence, former drug addicts and former cutters. I use the gifts that God bestowed upon me to help others the other 6 days of the week. We share Jesus, we give hope, we give it all up to Him.

    Thanks and God Bless!
    Chris
    INK 180

  34. Leah,
    What a wonderful message. In this day of many tattoos and the judgements against people who have them, this is a real eye opener. The idea of God tattooing HIS word on our hearts is so apropos. I have no tattoos, but it’s nice to know he has tattooed HIS word and love on my heart.
    This message will stay with me the rest of my life and I will repeat it to others. Thank you so much for your insight.

  35. Thank you for this message this morning. I have been praying, asking God if I could get a tatoo of “walk humbly” on my wrist, to remind me. Now I know I am to tatoo it on my heart, not my wrist.
    Thank you for sharing your God moment. 🙂

  36. Alberta Kincaid says:

    I wanted to cry and shout at the same time in reading this devotion…it will be with me all day because the scriptures are speaking directly to us…and to know that He uses things most would never think of to minister to us at diff times/places. Oh, He is so good to us and I submit my heart and life to Him to tattoo me with more of His love, mercy, grace, wisdom, direction, etc. What a wonderful way to begin my day with sharing this with all of you. Thank you, Jesus, for your eternal sacrifice and salvation.

  37. Karla Conant says:

    What a gift of words our Father has given to you!!!! I was truly blessed by your thoughtfulness and how close and real our Father and His love for us in in your words….how apparent that it is real in your life. He does tattoo our hearts…an awesome concept. And like those needles sting, so do our tattoos, but with grace and seeing our lives in light of His perfect plan for all of us (not the same plan as everyone else) we are blessed, changed, transformed and we grow to love the marks that make us special!!!! Amen for to your thoughts and thank you!!! You blessed my heart….to our creator, who inscribes our names on His Hands be the glory!!!!

  38. Please send me a copy of your book. As a seminary student my head was filled with much of the Bible during school. But it wasn’t until I stepped out of my sheltered walls made of books and theories that the real world tested my faith and taught me valuable lessons. I’m currently getting around to letting go. This has been my own secret problem but my husband and I are facing it (along with our kids) head on. If your book is anything like this devotional it will be an immense blessing on our journey.

  39. roxanna s ford says:

    I so loved your devotion today. My adult son and his girlfriend sport many tattoes, and the looks that we get as we go to restaurants and other public places is amazing. Many times we have heard unpleasant remarks made. They are not believers yet, but I believe they use their skin as a canvas to express themselves of the things that they have value of at this time in their lives.. To think that the Father has us inscribed in the palms of his hands because we are so valuable to Him; and to think that He also inscribes His living Word within our hearts forever. A living tattoo of His love within in us! Thank you for sharing this truth that He opened to you.

  40. carollida says:

    I am a very heavily tattooed mom. I am sleeved on both sides. Before I was a Christian I tattooed my arms. I love your thoughts on tattooing the heart. I love serving and being involved in the community. I get a lot of judgment, stares and hurtful comments but they don’t know my story. The last few years the lord really laid on my heart Matthew 25:40. I took action and we provide a safe place for homeless children to live while mom or dad get back on their feet. Being heavily tattooed and dealing with many children of different races it seems to only increase the judgement. So, in the opinion of society I may look “tacky” or like “white trash” I soldier on. They don’t know my story or what I have been through but one thing I know: I am not going to tell you how incredible my god is, I’m going to show you what my incredible savior would do for the least of these. In the process, I have learned way more than I have taught. I would like to think of those moments tattooed on my heart too 🙂 I’m a work in progress.

  41. What a wonderful explanation of my heart..tattooed for Him with names of my children and grandchildren who aren’t living for Him. I lift them up ilto Him daily in my heart as I did in service this morning…I pictured my heart with all their names on it as I praised God in song. Thank you so much for this devotion .. as always. Shirley

  42. Carollida, I love your boldness, thank you for the way you shared!!

  43. Leah, this is a wonderful article! I am the Operations Director for Lifetime Ministries and I would like to share this as a feature article with our readers and subscribers. We would give you full credit and point our readers back to your website/blog so they can then begin to follow you and your ministry. Please check out our website at lifetime.org and look under the “Feature Article” tab to see an example of how we showcase our guest authors. Please contact me with any questions. Blessings, Tracy 888-395-5433

  44. Mommy to five says:

    My heart is sad as I read this, sad that so many seem to think it’s normal to be destructive to God’s temple. I grew up in a time when tattoos were a sign of absolute defiance; against authority, against God, and were dangerous. They were a symbol of either prison pride, or pagan primitive peoples distorting the image of God with bones in their noses, ear lobes, neck, feet etc. And being in the medical world most of my life, also a problem we saw frequently with infections, scars etc. So why is the church community embracing these? To me it’s as if people were wearing a swastika proudly. It grieves my heart. I can’t even imagine one of my baby girls wanting to graffitti their bodies, especially where so many young woman are ‘trusting’ their artists to put them.

  45. Mommy to five (and anyone with same mindset) have you considered perhaps the tattoos came before the faith? Before the knowledge of the bible or our beautiful God? Is he the God if perfect people or of sinners? It may sadden you that people are accepting tattoos but if a tattooed person walks into church and feels condemned or judged for pervious life choices do you think they will come back? Of course not! Are they less than the “church” people? Do you think The Lord would want their heart or would he throw them away? Did Jesus seek out the perfect people or the sinners? I love my church. I’m accepted for who I am tattoos and all. I’m free to grow spiritually. I can tell you honestly I have left many churches because I was not good enough for them. Tattoos are an outward sin. So are the idols many worship. The idols of materialism, television, movie stars etc. We all have sin. Without tolerance and acceptance it blocks people from being saved. We don’t pick and choose who gets into the kingdom. We are to tell all the glorious news. We are to tell the “least” of these and the “best” people. Our job is not to like the sin but to love the sinner. In order to love the sinner you need to embrace them. Bible says 2 most important things. Love god, love thy neighbor. How can you love god if you don’t love they neighbor? There is no OR in there. It’s pretty clear. I embrace people every day that I can’t stand their lifestyle but I embrace and love them because aside from loving God, THAT is the next most important comand. Does a person feel loved when they feel like someone is looking down in them? Of course not. You guide them and love them and God will do the rest and one day they will repent from their sins.

  46. This is beautifully written. It was perfect timing for what I needed to read for myself and my fiancé. Thank you Lord for being in our hearts and guiding us to you always.

  47. Kathryn Arndt says:

    Thank you for giving me another way to share scriptures with street people and folks I ride the bus with. How true it is that there is nothing new under the sun, we just have to be open to hear God interpret the Word for today.

  48. Love this! Always thought of having God’s Word IN my heart but not as tattooed ON my heart. It’s amazing what the a difference that makes! Thank you!

  49. Teresa Davidson says:

    Thankyou, this is so beautifully written. And how the Lord manifested to you His word so that you’d understand it. He is so faithful. I had never looked at my pain as tattoos. That girls pain or love was expressively all over her body on the outside. Mine is on the inside, expressed or not, it’s inside. Hers is expressed outside where it’s accessible. Interesting, that’s a new perspective for me. Thankyou for your message this morning.

  50. Beautifully written!! Next time I see a tattoo, I will see my Saviors’! Blessings to you!! Nancy

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