I have a tattoo.
I’ve had it for a long time,
Although you may not have noticed.
It is not hidden, though seldom seen.
It is not secret, yet rarely mentioned.
Not on my neck to be concealed.
Not on my chest to be covered.
Not on my back to be forgotten.
But on a place where I can daily remember.
Not of a site that I have visited.
Not of a triumph that I have prided.
Not of a deed that I have accomplished.
But of a person, most precious to my soul.
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.
I cannot act without remembering your fragile frame.
When I heal
When I touch
When I raise to life
When I write on a heart
Each time, I see you there
Upon My hand.
No one can snatch you out of My hand
For you are indelibly etched there.
Not with paint that disappears
Not with henna that dissolves.
Not with ink that dims.
But with a spike that pierced.
Whether My palms reach, extend, or spread
Grip, clinch or grasp
I see you in the nail print.
Look at Me.
See My hands and My feet?
I have you in My heart.
“(You) said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me.’
‘Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My Hands
Your walls are continually before Me.’”
“And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see’” (Luke 24:38-39).
“Be still and know that I am God.” This verse fragment from Psalm 46:10 just kept appearing before me. It was a good thought — worthy of contemplation — but I really didn’t have time to think about it. I was in a hurry!
Sound familiar? How often does Truth pass our lives without our stopping Him?
Yes, Jesus lives daily within and never leaves those of us who are His children.
But, our understanding of His Truth is not always clear and we need fresh revelation daily. How often does God give us a brief revelation of Himself, but we pay so little notice that His Truth just keeps moving?
Have you ever had a piece of a verse or a praise chorus confront you repeatedly? What if this is His Truth calling to us? What if we began to recognize these as God’s very own call to us? He desires a deep connection with us (1 John 5:20). Are we missing His signals?
“And Jesus of Nazareth was passing by” (Luke 18:37).
Whether we see Him or not, Jesus is always on the move. Always working (John 5:17). Always seeking (Luke 19:10). Always praying (Hebrews 7:25). Yet, how often are we actively looking for His truth moving within and around us?
“And He acted as though He would go farther” (Luke 24:28).
The men on their way to Emmaus were sad, disheartened, and confused. But, it was in this very state that Jesus joined them on their walk. He didn’t wait for them to happy up. He took them as is to interweave the Old Testament truths they knew, into the New Covenant reality they didn’t (Luke 24:27). While He was speaking, their hearts burned within them (Luke 24:32).
Then, He gave them the choice of opting out. He acted as though He would keep going. They could have taken the knowledge He’d shared and been satisfied with the morsel. But had they done so, they wouldn’t have known full recognition of His Presence. Their eyes were opened only after they grabbed hold of Him and urged Him to stay. How often do we do this ourselves?
“And He intended to pass by them” (Mark 6:48).
Isn’t this interesting? On a dark, stormy night, Jesus chose to walk the wave that took him right next to the boat. The lake was big enough (and dark enough) for Him to have easily passed by unnoticed. But Jesus selected the path that made His Presence obvious. Jane Bromley says that “Maybe He caused the storm to make sure they were all awake!”
And yet “He intended to pass by them.”
When I discussed this with my friend, Traci Payne, she said, “This must be like when you want your children to leave a certain aisle in the store. You act as if you will leave them there when all along you know you won’t.” I think Traci is right. Jesus came nearby for the very purpose of allowing them a glimpse of Him. In this particular case, they didn’t even persistently invite Him to join them, as did the men on the Emmaus road. Here, the disciples simply freaked out (Mark 6:49).
Our reactions to His Presence don’t always have to be pristine and suitable. Sometimes, they may seem very messy indeed. But recognizing the Unseen is tantamount to discovering His depths. Looking for Him is the first step to a life accustomed to knowing Him.
So what about you? Are you grabbing onto the glimpses that He gives? Are you giving Him time to “stay awhile”, so you have plenty of time to hear what He has to say? Are you revisiting the fragments of spiritual truths you had when on the go?
Let’s be like Jacob. Let’s catch hold of His Sent One and not let Him go until the blessing arrives (Genesis 32:26).
And in the meantime, I need to start by being still and knowing just Who is God.
Above photography by Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram!