09 March 2008

Just When I Think I've Seen It All

I've written before about the tattoos I see in prison. It's amazing what people will write on their bodies. Some of the work is wonderfully artistic. Some of it is cheap and looks scary. I'm always looking to see what might be inked around a man's neck.

I've seen the girlfriend's name, the gang nickname, a rosary (just how does one pray a rosary that is tattooed around the neck?)

Today, though, today was something else.

The man came to communion. "The Body of Christ," I said and noticed the ink around his neck.

Before he left, I was able to read: - - - - - - - - - - CUT HERE - - - - - - - - - -

I'm wondering what he's thinking tonight after hearing me go on about Ezekiel and that valley of dry bones, about Lazarus and his stinky tomb, about those places inside us we'd rather not explore or even name because it is just too nasty and we know that even God isn't going to take a chance on that toxic waste. "I have promised and I will do it."

Okay, God, surprise me.

1 comment:

AnneDroid said...

I too find the tattoos of prisoners, and indeed prison officers, endlessly fascinating. I watched a prisoner being asked to show his ID card the other day and smiled to myself because in beautiful script he had his full name tattooed round his neck.

I have a friend who was converted a number of years ago but he has a big tattoo on his arm of a naked woman. I jokingly suggested he got a dress, or at least a towel, tattooed on top of it, but I suspect the young people he works with like it the way it is!!