(This post first appeared on 3 Men Walk into a Blog, last Friday.)
Two weeks ago my youngest son, Micah, got a tattoo.
It wasn’t a rash decision. He gave the idea a great deal of thought. (I did ask him if would still want the tattoo when he was ancient like me.)
I have to say I think the tattoo is awesome. It’s a legacy to Micah’s grandfather (my dad) to me, and to Micah himself.
My dad’s middle name is Lee, my middle name is Lee, and since my boys are the last of the Rubart line, we wanted to give one of our sons that middle name as well. The honor was given to Micah.
So the tattoo is the name Lee and underneath Lee is my dad’s name, Jimmie, and the dates of his life: 1923 – 2010. And get this: Micah told me when my time comes to shed this mortal coil, he will add another name and dates under my dad’s name and dates. I’m truly honored.
The Pain, Part I
If you have a tattoo, you know the pain of getting one. Even if you don’t, you know certain parts of the body are more sensitive than others. As you can see from the photo, Micah chose an extremely sensitive spot.
As I sat there and watched my son in high pain, I thought, “Shouldn’t I feel some kind of emotion about this? Shouldn’t I feel bad that he’s hurting?” But I didn’t.
Probably because I knew he had chosen this pain. This wasn’t something being done against his will. He asked for it, knowing full well it would hurt. (Darci said she couldn’t have watched it, so maybe it’s just a guy thing.)
The Pain, Part II
Earlier this week, Micah went through pain again, emotional pain. This time he didn’t ask for it. And this time I had a different reaction.
I ached. I prayed with intensity. I wished I could snatch it away; take the pain on myself. It tore me up inside to see this talented, bright, amazing young man going through such a difficult circumstance without being able to do anything for him. If you have kids, you know exactly what I felt.
We did talk with him and said things I believe were led of the Spirit. We prayed and prayed more.
It’s going to be okay. How do I know that? Because I know God can use the pain. He promises to. In Hebrews chapter 12, he explains that pain leads to holiness or WHOLEliness.
Do I believe God can use the pain my son went through to make him more like Jesus? Yes, I do.
Do I believe the pain I’m going through, and you’re going through, and your sons and daughters and husbands and wives and friends are going through can make them and you more whole?
Yes, I do.
Do I believe that even though the enemy sometimes is able to kill, steal, and destroy, God can ultimately turn those things into good?
Yes, and you believe it too, but isn’t it wise at times to remind ourselves of that truth?