Thursday, January 27, 2005


Read Isaiah 49:13-23

Like most people of my generation (and maybe most people who have been raised in the church), my first image of God was that of a very, very old man with a very, very long white beard. (How in the world did God keep from tripping over that beard? Maybe that was one of the jobs of the cherubim).

And, like many of my generation who experienced the upheaval of the '60's, my images of God changed: a black God, a young God, a female God, that older God, a hippie God; an always changing view of God as I turned the kaleidoscope of my life. But I don't think the image of God covered with tattoos every flashed into my mind, until I read this passage from Isaiah late on evening. For that seems to be one of the meanings of verse 16: "Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands." (The Message)


Think about it. Your name engraved on the back of God's hands. Every time God's hands are folded for grace, God gives thanks for you. Or maybe it is on God's wrist, so that every time that Chronos timepiece is checked, God is reminded of you. Or maybe your name is tattooed on the palms of God's hands, so as God splashes water on her face in the morning, she utters a silent prayer for you. Perhaps it is tattooed on the tops of God's feets, so as the sandals are slipped on in the morning, God remembers to walk with you.

Your name, my name, our names are written all over God. Maybe, like the Illustrated Man of Ray Bradbury's story, God is covered with all our names, all our stories, all our dreams, all our loves, all our prayers, tattooed on by the Holy Spirit from the beginning of creation until the end of time as we will know it.

No wonder God tells us we will never be forgotten!

Prayer: Bearer of our names, you know each and every one of us. Our names, our faces, our very souls are always a part of you. Help us to always remember your promise to never forget us. In Jesus' name. Amen.
(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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