Papua New Guinea women always grabbed my arms to look at my tattoos. Most of them have tattoos and we have fun comparing and complimenting each other’s ink. They tell me they use razors or needles to cut their skin, rub charcoal into it, and let it heal. They generally tattoo their names on their arms and I’ve seen some REALLY sweet ones on their faces!
When Julie grabbed my arm to look closely at the diabetic sign tattooed on my wrist, she thought my name was “diabetic.” She has her name tattooed on her wrist too so it’s a natural conclusion. I smiled and answered, “No.”
I was about to explain that I wear this tattoo instead of the required medical bracelet for diabetics, but because of the culture and language barriers, I had no idea how to make it clear to her.
As I looked down at my wrist at the word “diabetic,” the feeling of somehow being wronged surfaced again. Why do I have to deal with diabetes? I started getting angry.
Then I thought, “You know what? If I was born in PNG with diabetes, I would be dead right now .” And I was grateful to be born in a country where medicine and doctors are available.
As I stood there I thought, “Man, I thank God I live in a country where the Gospel is available too. Otherwise I’d probably be spiritually dead right now.”
Seeing Julie’s charcoal tattoo on her dark skin right next to mine helped me realize that Julie and I aren’t that much different. We didn’t choose our place of birth.
There are more than 4,000 language groups without a word of the Bible in their language. So then why am I blessed to be born in a country where the Gospel is available? God’s grace!
There’s a saying that goes something like “With great knowledge comes great responsibility” and we’ve been given the GREATEST KNOWLEDGE ever. Don’t sit on it!