It’s been just over three years since I got my tattoo, the day that I was born again. I’ve gotta tell you…I’m still not real comfortable using the term “born again”, but when you get right down to it, I suppose that’s exactly what happened.
I got the idea to have a cross tattooed on my arm on a Sunday, paid a visit to a local tattoo artist on Monday to discuss the design, got my tattoo on Wednesday morning, and declared myself to be a soldier of Christ that same night. I made a vow to go out to do His bidding and to spread His word to whoever would listen. I don’t know…is that being born again?
So I woke up the next morning, all fired up, ready to go out and be a soldier of Christ! Well, here’s the thing…I didn’t know what to do or where to start doing it!
I had proclaimed myself to be a soldier of Christ, but what exactly did that mean? Soldiers fight, right? Who was I going to fight? Were there anti-Christ armies? Where were they? I was ready to go to battle, but who was my enemy? (The answers to all of these questions will be in a future post.)
And I’ll let you in on a little secret…if you’ve never walked around spreading the good news of God, you just don’t roll out of bed and start talking about Him. At least I didn’t. I was born and raised here in Birmingham, Alabama; in the “Bible Belt”, as many like to call it. Be that as it may, I just didn’t know anyone (other than priests…yes, I was a Catholic) that walked around talking about God.
And I’ll go ahead and admit it; I didn’t have the courage to stand up and talk about God (some of you know what I mean). Didn’t matter. I was gonna get past my fears and spread the news of what God had done for me, regardless of what people thought of me. I just didn’t know where to begin.
A couple of months later I came across a silver lapel pin that was a half inch tall and three quarters of an inch wide. The pin bore three letters: I AM. The tail of a shooting star crossed the A to complete it. It was that simple, yet so powerful.
God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” EXODUS 3:14 (NIV)
I knew that wearing this pin would give me opportunities to talk about my faith. I wasn’t wrong.
I remember placing my pin on my shirt for the first time, wondering if anyone would ask me about it.
It took about an hour!
I was standing behind the front desk in our hair salon talking to one of our guests about her next appointment, when she stopped mid-sentence, and pointing at my pin, asked “What’s that?”
I panicked for just a moment. Then I replied “Well, this serves as a reminder for me of things that I strive to be each day. I am a good husband. I am a good father. I am a good Christian. Things like that. And oh yeah, it stands for God, as in the great I AM, as in the Bible I AM.”
“Oh, that’s nice.” was her reply. I could tell that she wasn’t deeply impressed by my affirmations. You think I cared? I had talked about God…even if I had backed Him into the conversation at the very end. It was a huge victory for me! I didn’t know if God was smiling, but I sure was.
And so it went for the next few weeks. People would ask, and I would answer. After the first couple of days, the anxiety began to fade away. As time passed, I began to explain my I AM pin with a bit of confidence…and pride. I even began to look forward to the questions.
One day, I don’t know, maybe four or five weeks later, a guest questioned the meaning of my pin. I looked at her and with a huge smile on my face, said “It stands for God. He has blessed me in so many ways, and made my life so complete. I figured the least that I could do is advertise for Him a bit. And oh yeah, it serves as a reminder of what I try to be each day.”
My response had moved this lady. Fighting back tears, she thanked me for being so open and for having the conviction to talk about God. And she wished that there were more people like me around.
BAM! That was all it took.
I’ve been “runnin’ for God” ever since. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ll talk about God at any time, in any place, in any crowd. He is my favorite topic.
I only wear my I AM pin occasionally nowadays. I don’t really need it anymore. You see, if you’re around me long enough (and that’s not very long) the topic of the conversation will at some point turn to God.
I no longer question if God is smilin’ when I’m talking to people about Him, or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, or sharing the good news of what He provides me with each day. You see, when I’m talking, and people are listening, and I’m allowing His light to shine through me, I feel Him smiling on me!
You should try it sometimes. It’s awesome!
See you next week!