Translated, that’s agape, the Greek word for unconditional love, and I’d like it tattooed along the side of my right foot. I’ve had this idea since my senior year of high school, and I’m hoping I might actually be able to have it done before I go back to school. I already emailed what I hear is the best tattoo parlor in town about pricing, and it should actually be pretty cheap since I only want it in one color and fairly small — small enough to cover with a band-aid if I ever need to for the sake of professionalism at a job.
I’ve also recently started thinking that I’d also really like the words Kyrie Eleison, which is Greek for “God have mercy.” I’ve been thinking about that phrase a lot recently after reading the following in C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain:
“…We actually are, at present, creatures whose characters must be, in some respects, a horror to God… and I notice that the holier a man is, the more fully aware he is of that fact.”
(A side note: I love Lewis. His writing never ceases to influence me profoundly — more profoundly than almost anything else I’ve ever read.)
But back to the tattoos. I want both of those to serve as reminders — agape, of Christ’s love for me and the love I should show towards others (which, honestly, I struggle with), and kyrie eleison, of how undeserving I am of that love, how much I truly need to recognize that it is only by the mercy of God that I live and move and have my being. I want that to be my constant prayer.
I’m not saying that tattoos will make me a better Christian, or that I need them, or anything like that. But I would really like them to be permanent, physical reminders for myself, and maybe even potential conversation-starters with others.