Some people hate them, considering them frivolous wastes of money at best and bodily mutilation at worst. And some people wear them proudly, as living art, drawing their hopes and history on their skin.
Or as Samuel Kee says, "Tattoos are tributes to and trophies of what it means to be human."
So what if we had tattoos not only on our skin, but on our soul?
The kind that not even Wrecking Ball Tattoo Removal could take away?
The kind that we'd never regret? (Unlike that alligator tattoo on your leg....)
What if God stamped them on us before we were born?
Samuel Kee says that we do have Soul Tattoos. He says there are four main ones, each a statement of truth, that points us back to our core identity. He says we'll never outgrow them either- instead we'll grow up *into* them.
You are Mine.
(This is God's first word to us. We are his, made in his Image.
We are his in body and soul, created and redeemed. )
I will be with you.
(This promise makes the world less frightening, because God doesn't just claim us- he keeps us.
He doesn't just call us, he holds us.)
I Love You.
(The words that leave us awed and glory-dazzled. The Divine love that called the world into being is not just a cosmic force. It's personal love, coming from a Person we can know.)
I Created you for My Glory.
(This one is promises of our purpose. It says that we human beings
possess worth and dignity, and that our work has meaning.)
In this new book, Samuel Kee leads us to consider each of these tattoos.
As we read, we use our holy imagination to see them on our own soul, indelible reminders of who we are and where we are headed.And most of all we learn to see these tattoos as revelations of the One who placed them there.
(Note- one of my favorite sections was when Pastor Kee applied Isaiah 62:12 to the individual. He said we have four new names. "The Holy People." "The Redeemed of the Lord." "Sought Out." And "A City Not Forsaken." Each one tells us something about ourselves, but ultimately it tells us about God. Our new identity finds its source in his Goodness, Mercy, Grace, and Holiness.)
So grab Soul Tattoo. And read it slow, with a pen to make notes. And be overwhelmed with the knowledge that God really does say that stuff about us, because that's the kind of God he is.
And because tattoos are often big and colorful and obvious- you'll be inspired to start seeing these Soul Tattoos first when you look at other people, and the way you relate to them will improve.
Thank you David C Cook for my review copy of this provocative and comforting book.
Sam is a pastor, author, and speaker. He is the founder of the Hope Stands Ministry.
My mission in life is to rid the world of hopelessness through the message of God’s love. I know, I know, that’s a big dream!
I grew up in a rural part of Northeastern Ohio in a family of artists, working on wrecked cars with my dad and writing poetry with my mom. I wrestled from my elementary years into college. I built log homes along with the guys at Capron Construction.
I was given a BA in Psychology (Ashland University) and a Masters in Divinity (Trinity International University). I married an amazing wife, Shante’, and we have lived and served in churches in Ohio, near Princeton in New Jersey, and in the Chicagoland area. We have two awesome boys, who are blessings from God and a lot of fun.
I also serve as a teaching pastor at North Suburban Church, in addition to serving as a chaplain at SkyWord ministries (an interfaith ministry at O’Hare Airport and Midway Airport), when I’m not playing with my boys, jogging, reading, or dreaming up some dreams.
I continue to be humbled by the fact that God found me and has had mercy on me.