The other weekend, when Heather and I were at the National Youth Worker Conference in Atlanta, there was a rapper who opened some of the main sessions named Propaganda. He really stood out to Heather and I, for a variety of reasons. We loved his style, his message, his presence – hopefully one of these days he’ll wander into our region.
One of the sessions he performed ‘Beautiful Pain’, which is also on his album. In it he raps about different people, both from his life and in the Bible who suffered – but he spoke of the beauty in their pain. He called the scars ‘life tattoos’ that were marks from God about their strength, courage, faith. He transformed tragedy, hardship and pain into something that truly was beautiful. It really, really spoke to me.
One of my struggles seeing my son Noah go through his various surgeries on his face for ptosis, the condition that affects his eye, and the scarring that the scleroderma is also causing on his face, has been worry about how he’ll handle all of the scars that are accumulating. If I could take them I would. For me that phrase ‘life tattoos’ jumped out at me big time. I would love for those marks to become tattoos from God that speak to his courage, strength, faith and patience. He’s a tough little dude – he’s been through a lot for a five year old. Finding a way to communicate it all in a positive, hope filled way is a challenge.