It was a fall in 1969. I was a sophomore in college. I was covered in tattoos. Oh, how I wanted them removed, but as everyone knows it's incredibly expensive as well as painful to have tattoos removed. I was so miserable, I hated myself.
Yes, I was a sophomore in Bible College, does that surprise you? Oh, no.... no one else SAW my tattoos............they were well hidden, a dark secret known only to me and to God! My heart was covered with tattoos.......scared and ugly by all the "hidden/ugly" sins(pride/self centeredness/ etc.). I "looked" so good on the outside... Who would judge me? But lost, oh, so very lost I was. Just as lost, hurting, and lonely as any other soul who may perhaps wear his tattoos on the outside!!
It would be painful and expensive to have my tattoos removed, far more so than any outward ones ever would. Someone would have to pay! Someone would have to suffer pain! I found that SOMEONE!! That SOMEONE found me! He paid! He suffered! He erased them every one of them!! Not only did He erase them from my heart, He gave me a NEW HEART!!
I thought about all this as I read aloud this morning from Matthew. So many people from so many different walks of life, so many and varied needs, so many different ways of expressing their faith...... A leper worshiped him, a Centurion whose faith rested in just the spoken Words of Jesus, a mother-in-law, the demon possessed, a man with the palsy whose sins Jesus chose to forgive before healing him, a Ruler whose faith towered high enough to request and get the resurrection of his daughter, the poverty stricken women(due to medical bills) who had enough faith to believe that just a touch of Christ's garment would be enough, Matthew who immediately responded to Jesus simple Words, 'Follow me!', and the publicans and sinners with whom Jesus ate!!
Surely one would say that Jesus was non-discriminatory!! His love embraced all!! His power of healing and redemption reached all!
So today, when you see the "tattooed," the poor, the hurting................see them through the eyes of Jesus! See them as redeemed!! That's way He came! That's why He died! That's why He LIVES!!!
That's WHAT He did for me!!!