When I first met Joe, he had five tattoos; some he loved, others he some-what regretted. On our honeymoon in San Diego, he got his sixth one that reads “Bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh” (with our wedding anniversary below) to reference Genesis 2:23 when God brings Eve to Adam for the first time and the two become one. Over the years, Joe has talked about getting more and/or covering up some of the old ones he didn’t care for but it always got put on the back burner.
A few weeks before our summer trip to San Diego in July, we talked about how the last time we were there was on our honeymoon and that one of the highlights of the trip was him getting his tattoo. I jokingly suggested that he should get one while we’re there this time. Well, that was all it took to get his wheels spinning and before I knew it, we were on the road to a LOT more tattooing than either of us were initially anticipating.
We did some research and found an awesome Christian tattoo artist who specialized in coverups here in Arizona. Micah owns his own shop in Mesa called A Higher Calling and WOW is he talented!! He is a true artist. What started off as a single cover-up of on old tattoo turned into a beautiful collaboration and telling on the gospel story through the art of tattooing. I love how Joe has the opportunity to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus to all who see/ask about his tattoos.
It starts off in the garden where God had created everything in perfection. But soon, sin enters the world through the temptation and disobedience of Adam and Eve. Life is no longer perfect and Adam and Eve are cast out of the garden, separated from God. The first part of the tattoo shows the serpent wrapped around the tree of knowledge of good and evil glaring at Adam and Eve as they walk away in shame out of the garden. The apple with a bite taken out of it sits at the foreground to depict the sin they committed. Micah added lighting and storm clouds to further depict the idea that things are no longer perfect and that their sin held consequences for ALL of creation.
Oh, but praise the Lord that he didn’t leave us there cast out of the garden without a remedy. In steps Jesus. The perfect, spotless sacrifice that took on the penalty of sin and death, redeeming us back to the Father.
This was actually the initial cover up tattoo that Joe got that spured on the rest of the piece. We love how Micah created the angle of Jesus on the cross to flow with the shape of Joe’s body. Whenever I look at this, I am astounded at the detail and emotion that he was able to bring through his art.
Then, one of my favorite parts: the restoration of all things. As followers of Christ, we look forward to the day when He will return in glory to make all things new. He will restore all of creation. The dove and sun rays represent the restoring work of Christ breaking through the storm and righting all the wrongs.
The verse that is written beneath the rays ties the whole piece together:
“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
Adam’s disobedience caused sin to come upon all of us, but through Christ and His obedience to death of a cross, we get to be made right before God! And that my friends, is the gospel of Christ as told through ink. Bam!
And here’s a happy Joe! After enduring a LOT of hours in the tattoo chair followed by a long healing process, he is GLAD to be done.