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FIRST-PERSON: Tina & the cross tattoo

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) — When the cashier handed me change at a convenience store, the Holy Spirit made sure that I saw the tattoo on her hand. It was a small cross.

“Is that a cross?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “I’ve had it on my hand since I was 14 years old.”

“Does that mean that you are a follower of Jesus?”

“Yes,” she said, but looked around nervously.

Nobody was behind me and a young man who was a coworker was distracted with a stocking task. Tina’s name badge also said “manager.”

“In China,” I said, “Some Christians take a ballpoint pen and each morning they draw a small cross right where you put your tattoo. Did you know that?”

“That’s pretty cool,” she said and smiled.

“It serves as a reminder that they are to live for Christ in all they do and to tell others about him.”

And then I added, “Now you can use it to tell others about your faith in Christ.”

As I turned to leave, I looked back and saw her coworker asking about our conversation. Through the closed door I saw her holding up her hand. She clearly was explaining the meaning of the cross, probably for the first time in a long time.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of our earlier commitments to be a witness for Christ. At one point, Tina’s zeal for the Lord drove her to tat a small cross right where her thumb and forefinger came together on her right hand.

Everyone needs to hear the good news about Jesus — whether in China or a convenience store in Missouri. And placing reminders, such as a cross, before others is a great way to strike up a spiritual conversation that is natural and personal.

Now, before I get in trouble, let me say that I am not in favor of tattoos as a general rule. However, I am quick to discuss body art. They endured a lot of pain to have it inked into their skin. Some of it has religious connotations. And it’s out there to address.

If you’d like to sport your own emblem, don’t be shy about purchasing magnetic or sticker Icthus “fish,” a fisherman’s hook and other meaningful symbols.

It’s there to remind us to tell others about Christ, make them fishers of men, and do it not out of duty but out of love. Make them obvious by putting them on your car bumper, refrigerator, tackle box … wherever you want!
Mark Snowden serves Missouri Baptists as evangelism/discipleship strategist. This article first appeared at The Pathway (www.mbcpathway.com), newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

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  • Mark Snowden