His clenched fists displayed the blue-black markings on the dorsal tips of his fingers. A combination of letters, numbers, and odd characters I had never seen before, but I knew what it symbolized. It identified his former membership in a gang and he wanted them removed.
“Can you do it, Doc?” His forlorn and pleading eyes telegraphed the years of pain and violence he was still carrying.
“I don’t do this,“ his countenance dropped, “but I do know someone who does. May I refer you to him?”
His face brightened and he enthusiastically nodded. My former dermatology resident has a thriving medical practice specializing in using a medical laser to remove unwanted tattoos. Ironically, a person will spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to obtain a tattoo and then spend even more to have it removed. This, of course, does not account for the pain and time lost in both receiving and removing the tattoo. Why do people want to remove tattoos?
There is a multitude of reasons, but the most common, like my patient, is to remove and erase any reminders of their past. However, even in the best of hands, laser treatment may still leave some residual pigment. Makeup and cleverly positioned clothing may cover it. With time, the residual pigment may fade but upon close inspection, it can still be seen by the discerning eye, and of course, the person who received the tattoo will always know it is still there, just not as boldly exhibited.
Our sins are no different. Cover them up with lies and denials; attempt to erase them with good deeds; hope that time will heal the wounds and others will forget. I know. I tried all of these “treatments” and all of them were an abject failure.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
Isaiah 43:25 (NIV)
Thanks be to God that He welcomes everyone who comes to Him. We do not have to be sinless when we approach Him because like tattoos, we can never truly rid ourselves of our sins. Only by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ will our sins be blotted out, erased as if we never had them. He is the only solution and perfect treatment that we can receive if we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We do not have to be perfect when we come before Jesus Christ, only truly desirous to reconcile our broken relationship with Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.