Testimony

NOTHING BUT TATTOOS – Dana R

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NOTHING BUT TATTOOS

August 3, 2020 1:02 PM
Dana R

One day as I was heading to my local Walmart to grocery shop, I saw a man holding a sign on the side of the road. The thing that stood out about him was that he was wearing long sleeves and a high collar on one of the hottest days of summer. I pulled over, introduced myself, and asked him how he was doing.
He told me that he had been searching for work for quite some time, but no one would hire him. I asked him why. He rolled up his sleeves and showed me his arms – no unmarked skin in sight, just tattoos. Then he moved the top of his shirt to expose his neck and upper chest. Again – nothing but tattoos.

He said no one would hire him because of the way he looked. Suddenly he burst into tears. He told me how he absolutely hated his tattoos. He said that he got them when he was very young and now he regretted it so much. He had even looked into having them removed, but it was just too expensive. And he was getting desperate because he had a wife and 10 year old daughter to support. Then he started telling me about how much he loved his little girl and how she was the joy of his life.

Now I have to tell you, I almost lost it right then and there. It took all my self-control to not burst into tears myself. I asked myself, how can I possibly help this guy? I couldn’t offer him a job and I didn’t know anyone who could offer him work since I was new to the area. But there he was, standing in front of me with tears in his eyes, looking miserable and dejected.

Finally I said to him “You know, God doesn’t judge you the way the world judges you. This world is very superficial and only focuses on outward appearances – like how you look and what you wear and what kind of car you drive and what kind of house you live in and how much money you have. Those things are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. God is concerned about your heart and your character. He looks at the things that really matter.”

Then I went on to say that the proof of this was in the Bible, in the story of how God selected David to be the next king after Saul. I described how the 8 sons of Jesse were paraded before God as potential candidates, in order from oldest to youngest. The oldest brother, Eliab, was quite impressive to look at by the world’s standards – handsome and tall. But the Lord rejected him as king because his heart was not in the right place. (1 Samuel 17:28-30 gives a clue as to what was wrong with Eliab’s heart). Then God rejected the next oldest brother, and the next one, and so on, right on down the line until He got to David. David was the youngest and the least of all his brothers, at least by the world’s standards – but not by God’s standards. God saw that David’s heart was pure and he was chosen to be the next king.
I never saw that man again, which I took as a good sign. Typically “flying a sign” is a last resort, when they can’t find other work. So I think his disappearance meant that he probably found a job.
I often think how wonderful it is that God doesn’t judge us as the world judges. If He did, most of us would be in big trouble. I know I would. I am not popular or rich or pretty or young. I drive a 10 year old car with a hole in the bumper. And I’m a renter. But isn’t it amazing that we serve a God who looks at the things that matter most – our heart and our character.

SCRIPTURES

1 Samuel 16:
1The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” 4Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” 7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” 10And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

1 Samuel 17:
28Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.

Mark 10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Luke 13:30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.

NOTHING_BUT_TATTOOS

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13 Comments

  1. Amen. Thank you for your testimony. Praise Him!

  2. Dana R, the LORD indeed blesses you for sharing JESUS and the Truth with this man. You served as a prophet to this man. Your testimony proves that our LORD truly cares about all people. I like to buy gift cards at Walmart or Dollar Tree and give them to the person(s) Holy Spirit tells me to, what joy to tell them about JESUS and help their needs. Proverbs 11:25
    the one who gives a drink of water, will receive water…Living Waters flow from Father’s heart to His children to others in JESUS Name amen!

  3. Averine Pennington

    Thank you, Dana, for this reminder that we should see people through God’s eyes! I love this story and your response to the man with tattoos. I was similar to when the disciples responded to the beggar . . . silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I unto you. You offered him the good news, which was better than anything this world had to offer him.

    Blessings,

    Averine

  4. Joshua 1:9

    In the midst of everything that is happening these days, the testimony you posted was the living water that flowed from you.. In one form or another I am that same man you stopped for…though I don’t have tattoos, i did carry the burdens of a blown up past due to sin at one time. You likely gave him hope to carry on just a while longer until he meets Jesus…. and then it all changes for that man. Because Christ’s love had manifested in you , I bet he will never forget that time you stopped. Praise God and may He bless your obedience and compassion.

  5. Tim

    Dana,

    Thank you for this excellent testimony; you demonstrated a heart similar to David’s.

    Personally, I have no tattoos, and will never get one, but I know that they are “in” nowadays. But, if I might, I’ll share a bit what I have learned. Whenever I see something that concerns or bothers me (for example, I live in Michigan where “men” have legalized marijuana now, and we find “pot/hemp/cannabis shops” everywhere) in particular about another person, I always try to take it before the Lord. I pray about the situation, and nearly always I end up understanding more from Him.

    With this man, you saw firsthand how great a price he had already paid for decisions he had made many years before. I know very well what many people say (and think) about people with tattoos, and I was in that place myself at one time also. But, you took a very high road, Dana, and without a doubt the heartfelt compassion you showed this man certainly made a positive impression on him. I pray every day that more would have a heart like yours! God bless you always!

    I pray for you, Dana, and I pray for all.

    A brother.

  6. Anna

    Thank you for offering kindness to a stranger. I am sure God put him in your path just so that you could minister much more than money to him! What you gave him was invaluable.

  7. I’m thankful the Lord sent you to that man that day, sister.

  8. Alida

    In Australia we see more people with tattoos than without. So many people regret them, especially when they find Jesus. I have a dream to be able in the Name of Jesus to just speak those tattoos away, or wipe over them and let them disappear in Jesus’ Name. That would give me SO MUCH satisfaction.
    Thank you for loving the unloveable, Dana – may Jesus bless you for that.

  9. Hannah Silver

    Wow! Your car is only 10 years old??! Now that’s luxury! Ha ha. I’m in there with you, Dana. Old, beater car, renter, unattractive, old, ill health, and more… Thank God he doesn’t judge like men do. I flew sign in the past myself, trying to feed kids and heat a home in the winter with no job. Certainly no Christmas presents. After dark, I used to comb parks and even some private property looking for old, dead tree branches to take home and put in the wood stove so my kids could warm up in the morning.

    But now, I’ve had no problem approaching people in similar situations. It kind of freaks them out at first. They don’t trust you; who could blame them? But I do find they move on after we talk and I give them what I can. Usually never see them again.

    But the Lord sees everything. We may be surprised some day to find out who we were talking to… : )

  10. Nice Italian girl

    I hope he didn’t have a puppy with him. That’s who I feel sorry for, the animals with their tongues dragging on the ground, thirsty and hungry and exhausted. I stopped to help one of these homeless ones and offered to take him to the McDonalds that was across the street from where he was begging for food. I stopped and talked to him and offered to buy him whatever it was on the menu that he wanted and how ever many of each he wanted. He cursed me all over the place calling me every filthy name in the book because he demanded cash, not food. First and last time for me.

  11. SarahR

    Italian Girl, it’s not all about you nor is it about the one guy who cursed you. It is about treating others as we would want to be treated. If you were hungry, thirsty, or cold, would you not want someone to help you? The Lord identifies Himself with those who are hurting and struggling. If you fail to help them, it is as if you are failing to help Him. He knows the cries of the poor and the destitute. He also knows when our hearts grow cold and we pass them by. We must all make a decision to *love* even if we get nothing in return. Even if we get filth and abuse. And we must ask help and then rely on the Holy Spirit to help us.

    Besides, Italian Girl, not all homeless people are like that. I know this from a personal fact. I have sat down – and I know that I am letting my right hand know what my left hand is doing, so I accept loss of reward if it means it encourages and helps others -so I have sat down in a McDonald’s with a young gentleman. He was hungry. He didn’t curse or abuse me. He ordered his food and we had a chat. He told me about some of his difficult times. You can learn a lot from folks like this. Bad home life. Iirc, a runaway. He had no place to live. Sometimes, people in these situations like to talk to someone who actually cares about what happens to them.

    After our talk – I now think it was rude for me to not eat – he was very grateful and I sent him somewhere that would help him with his housing and employment difficulties. I didn’t unfortunately present the gospel.

    You gotta think that someone like this should be treated like royalty. The Lord loves them all so much.

    I’m not trying to make airs here. I could have done more. He is my judge and I have failed at lots of things. I just couldn’t let this comment go, especially as I had my own very different McDonald’s experience.

    And Italian Girl, if someone refuses your help and acts badly, then just pray for them, forgive them, and walk away. Not everyone is going to treat you kindly. That is life in this fallen world.

  12. Laura

    Thank You Dana for your obedience to the LORD. I BURST INTO TEARS at the POWER of your testimony. THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR BROTHER DANA’S WITNESS.
    I BELIEVE THAT MAN WAS CHANGED THAT DAY! You are a BLESSING!

  13. david padilla

    We are to repent of sins. Tattoos are sin before God. Thus it is wise to repent of sin and even tattoos. Therefore it is good to tell people to repent

    Best blessings to you and everyone else by infinity God willing. Thank God He made you and everyone else amen. Much love to all forever god willing amen. Make sure to seek Jesus amen.

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