Seal of Approval

I’m a marked woman. Well, I’m not marked anymore, which is too bad in a way. I spent some time after church one Sunday talking to Miss Vickie. I seldom got to sit with her at church because she sang in the choir. I envy her voice. I’m one of those that believe God wants us to make a joyful noise, but He doesn’t say it has to be good. I willingly comply with the joyful part; it’s the good part I’m lacking.

That Sunday I must have been tightly hugging my Bible while I was talking. On the way home, I happened to glance down and saw a mark on my arm. It was a fish. You know the one—they call it the creation fish, like you see on vehicles. This one is a little pin I have on my Bible case. I also have several other pins, but they didn’t leave a mark. Just the fish. The fish is inside a circle, and inside the fish is WWJD.

It took me a minute to figure out what it was on my arm. Since I sometimes have the mentality of a two-year old, I thought that was the neatest thing I’d seen in a while. Actually, I might be more like a three-year old, since I’ve been called an “and up.” That’s what it says on the tags that come on the really good toys. For ages 3 and up. That would be me.

I told Ed that I had been stamped in church and showed it to him. He wasn’t overly impressed; he’s too grown up sometimes to see humor in the same things I do. He did chuckle when I asked him if that meant I could return later that day. Kind of like they stamp your arm when you go into a nightclub, or so I remember from my much younger, stupider days.

That indentation stayed on there until the next day. Granted, it was considerably lighter as the day wore on, but even the next day I could still see the little fish. Not the WWJD, but the circle and the fish. That got me to thinking.

People tattoo butterflies and dragons and crosses and all kinds of things on themselves. I’m too much of a coward to go that route, besides I personally believe that my factory-issue body looks better without all that stuff on it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the fish tattooed on anyone. In my past line of work, I saw quite a few tattoos, since they’re very popular in the military. But I don’t remember seeing a fish, unless it was a real fish of some sort and not the religious fish.

I think that maybe if we all had little fish on our arms, it would be kind of neat. It would serve a multitude of purposes. We wouldn’t have to ever worry about being allowed to re-enter a church. Not that we worry anyway, but you get the idea. People would readily know that we were under the protection of God. Although they should be able to tell that by the way we live our lives. And it would be a constant reminder of what we’re supposed to do… live our lives like we should live them; keeping in mind what Jesus would do. Of course, we shouldn’t need a fish to remind us to do that, either.

Wow! I think I just talked myself out of my fish on the arm idea. That’s a good thing since there is the needle problem, although I was leaning towards using a permanent marker. It’s not really a terrible idea, if you bear in mind that mentality of a two-year old comment. But I kind of like the idea of looking down at my arm and seeing a gentle reminder that perhaps Jesus wouldn’t approve of me getting mad at the guy that almost ran into my car. Or getting testy when the person in line ahead of me at the grocery store can’t find their checkbook, then can’t find their ID, and then decides to run to the back of the store for something they forgot. Every day, there are quite a few times the reminder might come in handy.

I don’t know why that mark made such an impression on me. Okay, that sounded like a pun, but it wasn’t. I just looked on my forearm to see if I could see any part of it still there and it’s gone. Since I’m writing this several years later, that shouldn’t be a surprise, huh? But it was almost like a perfect moment in time, where God gave me His seal of approval. An indentation on my arm that said I’m here and I love you and you belong to me. Unless there was some other hidden message because it also said WWJD. It could have been a reminder that I should stop letting my mind wander in church, but since it was an awfully good sermon that day, it didn’t wander much.

Maybe that was it. Father was letting me know that my heart and mind were where they should be that Sunday and not aimlessly wandering off in space like they sometimes do. I hope not. I much prefer to believe He’s too busy to notice my temporary lapses in paying attention. I would rather believe that He just wanted to let me know He was thinking of me. Kind of like a love note from above. Except in this case, it was a fish.

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