Scars Fade, The Cross Remains


Lamentations 3:22-23

New American Standard Bible

The Lord’s acts of mercy indeed do not end,

For His compassions do not fail.

They are new every morning;

Great is Your faithfulness


Hebrews 13:5

New American Standard Bible

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever abandon you,”


I got my first tattoos on a whim my freshman year of college. I would like to tell you that I thought about it for weeks, researched the best artists, and made an appointment. Rather, a friend and I drove past (at the time) the best tattoo shop in town and decided, let's do it.


I was a freshman in college. My on and off boyfriend of many years and I had just split up for good. My best friend wasn't a 5 minute drive away anymore. I was sitting in a place where everything I thought I had figured out about my life was changing. Ending.


I knew one thing for certain when I walked in that shop: tattoos are permanent. If I was to mark my body with something that would never change, in a season of my life when I felt everything was changing, the choice was clear. The only thing in my life I could count on without fail to never leave me was Christ.


And so, I had two small red crosses permanently placed on my wrists. A constant reminder that whatever may come my way, one thing will never change. His steadfast love is never ceasing. I will never be alone.


Now, not only were these my first tattoos, but I didn't know anyone with tattoos at the time. I knew they would scab before they healed completely, so when they started to hurt and swell and lose their shape, I thought maybe that was normal. It wasn't.


Little did I know, I was highly allergic to the red ink they used. That isn't the fault of the artist at all; being allergic to red is very common. So, I went in to ask if the massive scarring and loss of shape was normal. Horrified by what my delicate little crosses had turned into, the artist immediately sent me to the hospital.


Oral and topical antibiotics were administered, and eventually the infection went away and I was left with my crosses, although my center ink was never the same.


This morning, more than 15 years later, God taught me a new lesson about my ink.


The scars faded, but the crosses remained.


In life, there will be hurt, injury, toxicity, and change. Things can and will look really ugly at times. No matter how bad it gets, the scars will fade. The pain is not permanent. The damage is not permanent. Eventually, though you may never be the same, the pain will fade.


The cross will always be there, even if the pain is so big and so prevalent at the time that is seems to be covering it up entirely. When the hurt subsides, the cross will remain.


Because even if you couldn't see it clearly, it never left in the first place.