The Convinced Cashier
Recently, Beth and I were visiting a church in Tucson where we have many friends of ours and of the ministry. Tucson is a great city with a lot of character… and characters. I ran across one such person while checking out of a grocery store.
“Can I see your tattoo?” I asked as she scanned the items I was purchasing. She held out her arm for me to see. This was the only marking I noticed on her and in every other way, this young lady seemed absolutely normal and pleasant. “Where would those coordinates take me if I put them in navigator?” I probed, not really remembering what the correct word was currently in the states for a GPS tracker. “Oh, it’s my favorite ice cream place,” she replied with the utmost casualness. I asked if I could take a picture and she was happy to oblige.
I didn’t ask her what she would do with her tattoo if the store went out of business or moved its location. She has probably been asked that question many times over. Now I don’t have anything against tattoos in and of themselves. However, I think in getting a tattoo, one should make the following considerations:
- Is this something I want on my body for the rest of my life?
- Is this something in which I strongly believe and will do so until my last breath?
- Is this something that will look silly when my body starts to sag?
Perhaps, this girl strongly believes in quality ice cream or maybe it’s just the folly of youth at work. Maybe some day, she’ll look back with nostalgia at this tat and smile. Maybe she’s getting paid by the ice cream parlor for advertising. Regardless of the reasoning or wisdom behind such a tattoo, one must admire her abject patronage of this fine establishment.
It made me think about what coordinates I would mark on my body permanently. What it is I truly believe in that would warrant such patronage. Then it struck me… yes, indeed, I also have a tattoo that some would consider equally ridiculous. Like this young lady’s tat, mine is also a set of coordinates and there are a few million other people in this world with similar markings on their wrists. It contains no directions like North or West, and no numbers indicating degrees of latitude or longitude.
My coordinates are a simple cross – a reminder of the place and method where my Savior died and paid the penalty for my sin. My coordinates lead me to the place where God’s plan for the forgiveness of my sin reached its culmination. What happened at the cross is the climax of the epic drama of God’s story in which He demonstrates His love for each and every one of us.
So, yes… it’s true. The cross on my wrist meets all three requirements listed above, and it always will, even when this earthly frame begins to sag under the weight of many years.