Meanwhile, as a viral outbreak threatens, there is still great work to be done…
He’s sitting beside me, this interesting fellow. Sporting a ponytail and diamond studs, he’s wearing tattoos. And in one hand, a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
Noting his tats written in foreign languages, I ask him, “What do your tattoos say?” For there’s one around his upper arm, one on his left lower arm, and one scrolling down on the right.
“Which one?” he says.
“All of ’em!” I chirp.
“Well,” he says, “this one is Hebrew, and it says, ‘I’m Abba’s child.’ This one says, ‘Love those who serve well,’ and over here, it says, ‘Serve those who love well.’”
We are listening with keen interest.
“Then this one (and here he points to a design on his left shoulder blade), you know how some people get something done in Chinese, and they don’t even know what it says? It could say, ‘I’m full of bird poop’ for all they know. Well, this one’s just a design.” And we’re laughing.
I’m intrigued. There’s something about him, this man with the Hebrew tattoo. And so I ask it, “How long have you been Abba’s child?”
“It depends. It just kind of varies.” And there we go. He’s struggling, he tells me, with faith, with real knowing. He just doesn’t see how a person can be sure about things they cannot see. How a person can know, know for sure.
I speak to him, then, about adoption. How that just as my four sons are truly mine, they’re solidly part of our family, so, too, us with God. I told him about my oldest, struggling son; that even at his worst, he still remains in our family. Still accepted (fully) and loved. Yes, that, too.
“I have four kids, too,” he says, “so I can see what you mean. Things changed for me when I had kids.”
I can feel the window of this blessed opportunity sliding shut. Oh, this longing…
“Faith,” I say to him, “is the cord that plugs into the outlet. It’s what brings the appliances to life. Being one of His kids is very simple. When you’re adopted, you’re a child in His house, a kid at His table.”
He trusts me with his first name. I give him mine. Then, looking full into his face, I say, “I’m going to pray for you, that you will have the faith to believe.”
They’re calling for him now. His team is needing him. “Go get ’em!” I say, and he’s gone.
Tonight, I pray for Philip, tattooed with Abba’s mark on his flesh, but needing the mark on his heart.
“Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the lost and lonely of this world.”