glory, John Piper, and my favorite birthday gift
Today I got asked about my wrist tattoo by the PT who had been working on my other hand for 30 minutes. It gave me butterflies to explain it, as if I’d been asked something very personal. Then I remembered – it’s visible; this one word conversation with God that I wear on my skin.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had PT but it’s been an amazing learning experience for me as kind professionals (I do think KINDNESS must be a job prerequisite for Physical Therapists.) have given me exercises, tasks, massages and ultrasounds in weekly intervals to reduce my pain. I get to answer questions about how painful it is to pull a tube of lipstick apart on a scale of 1-10. And today, at the end of our time, Wendy saw my other hand, the one that is normal and immediately asked me about it.
Wendy is not my regular PT, we only just met today, but within 10 minutes we’d learned that we had each walked and crewed for Breast Cancer fundraiser walks, and why. Me for my mom, she for her clients. It’s not every day you have a stranger holding your hand for half an hour, so perhaps that’s why we dropped down deep. Or perhaps Wendy is hungry for meaning. Like every single one of us.
Funny story: my tat was a gift. My husband was aware that I’d become fascinated about what God says in his word about his glory. God has a passion for his glory. John Piper (notable theologian, pastor, and author. I think he’s actually in Hebrews 11. Just kidding.) likes to say the Bible is the story of the glory of God.
Side note: I got to meet John Piper at Catalyst in Atlanta a few years back – and I was so tongue tied! To me, Piper is a hero of the faith. In reality, he is not just amazing but also kind. And cool enough to draw a line of stammering Pipergroupies cued up in stanchions for his signature like a rockstar.
The heavens are telling the glory of God, Psalm 19:1. What does that mean? It means he is shouting at us. He shouts with clouds. He shouts with blue expanse. He shouts with gold on the horizons. He shouts with galaxies and stars. He is shouting. I am glorious. – John Piper
Flash back to 2011. David knew I was seeking to understand God’s glory both in context and here – in life. I had taken to drawing the word on my skin from time to time. He noticed. Then for my birthday that year, he took me out and told me we’d be seeing a movie (we love movies), after which he said, “Are you ready for your surprise? Youre going to get glory. I made an appointment – are you ready? Where do you want it?”
Now, I am not what one would call a risk taker. Truly. I’m a processor. It takes me a while to make sure I’m sure. But when Dave presented me with this idea, I got ready fast. It wasn’t just a chance to wear the word that had come to have so much meaning for me, in a way I had been daydreaming about – it was also his way of saying he understood me. And that was my gift. Ladies, is there anything sweeter? Not. Much.
Since then, I’ve had several comments on it, but its near my watch and whatever bracelets I wear. I didn’t get it to call attention. But when someone asks, what I say is what I told Wendy, the kind Physical Therapist.
“I live for God. His glory is what I’m here for.”
We are expressions of that glory. We are his cathedrals. In us he shouts, “I am glorious.”