Tattoos exist in a gray social area that blend the need to express an aspect of one's self to others, without surrendering the deeply personal nature behind the tattoo itself. When openly visible, a tattoo can announce one's history, identifications, beliefs, or even familial bonds. When hidden away, it can serve to reveal an aspect of one's self reserved only for those one is intimate with. And when people commit to having themselves marked with the same tattoo, it can be a way of expressing themselves, but also the intimacy they share. Matching tattoos, then, say two things: "this is who I am," and, more interestingly, "this is who we are."
A young married couple seen praying together in a restaurant caught the attention of a woman whose Facebook post about encountering them is garnering thousands of inspired reactions from people around the world, thanks largely to their matching tattoos.
The unidentified couple was spotted at McAlister's Deli in San Angelo, Texas by Michelle Torino-Barcelos and her husband Buben who were at the restaurant enjoying a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon.
In a public post she shared with Love What Matters, Barcelos described her reaction when she noticed a man sitting down and eating.
"What caught my attention was the words written in his tattoo on his left arm. It says, 'Together we serve' with a cross sign before it. I told my husband to discretely look at his tattoo, and see how beautiful its meaning is. I told my husband, it can have double meanings. The word 'we' may mean as we, as a whole serving God, or 'we' can also mean him, together with his other half; it can be his girlfriend or his wife."
As Barcelos contemplated the tattoo, the man was joined by a young woman with an identical tattoo. The couple paused before eating to join hands and quietly pray.
For Barcelos, the couple's act was something of an epiphany: She felt inspired and compelled by their simple act of faith to go over and express her feelings.
"As we were enjoying our meal, my eyes were still glued at this couple near our table. So I told my husband, that as soon as we finished eating, I would love to come to the couple and approach them. Just to say that we were blessed and inspired by just looking at them, their tattoo, and their faith and love for God."
So she did ... and in doing so, she encountered a story of a young couple whose commitment to their faith, their country, and each other is something worth considering and, perhaps, incorporating into the permanence of our own lives, with or without a needle and ink.
Read her full account below.
(H/T: Love What Matters)