by Charis Carmichael Braun, Freedom Circuit

I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:16

Do you have a tattoo? What is it? Perhaps it's a heart, butterfly, Chinese character, tribal marking, or a cross? If you don't have one, what image would you get? Why?

I've always wanted one. As an artist, I wanted a paintbrush in a symbol of my name, Charis, (which means "grace" in Greek) so that I would "always remember who I am." Then I thought about how tattoos fade and blur, but I figured that I could put it in a place that wasn't so visible--maybe on the inside of my ankle.

Did you know that God has a tattoo? Your name. Christ engraved my name into his hands when he died for me on the cross. He didn't use a needle with ink to set my name under his skin; he used nails and his own blood.

Tattoos fade, stretch, and get blurry. They become unidentifiable. God's tattoos don't fade though, his stay in "perfect" condition. "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless" Psalm 18:30. His tatoos never stretching, never blurring- always clear as day.

You know how you sometimes need to write something down, but don’t have any paper? Where might you write it? On your hand. Why? So you see it immediately and don’t forget. Jesus wrote me on his hand, one of the most visible places on the body. He didn’t hide me away on the small of his back where I would be hard to see. He wanted everyone to see his tattoo of my name.

Believe that Jesus loved you so much that he took your sins and doubts to the cross, washed you in his blood, and then, with that blood, engraved your name into his hands.

Why did he do that? He wrote you on his hand and he remembers who you are! He remembers that “important note” that he saved you from eternal death so that you could be with him forever!

But he also wrote you on his hand, so you always remember who you are.

On my heart imprint your image, blessed Jesus, King of grace,
   That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures
      have no power to hide your face.
This the superscription be: Jesus, crucified for me,
   Is my life, my hope’s foundation,
      And my glory and salvation.  (CW 319)