The sun broke through the early morning haze. Light chased the darkness away as the birds sang. Life slowly returned to the world as the shadows occupation came to an end. Creatures of the day awoke to find a new day dawning and the early bird passed the night owl on the road home.

Bright red numbers read eight o’clock as I fumbled to find the button to silence the world’s most annoying noise. Fog clouded my vision as I stumbled out of bed and began my morning rituals. Excitement fueled me as the lack of sleep attempted to drag me down. With my heart pounding and my favorite cartoon t-shirt on I walked out my front door ready to face the world.

The aroma of magnolias surrounded me as I walked through the park. Birds chirped at my flanks as the tattoo shop came into view. I smiled when the sound of the bell graced my ears.

“You ready for it man?” the tattoo artist asked me.

“Yup. Finally got the whole idea down,” I said handing him a piece of paper.

“Okay,” he said smiling.

A few hours later I walked out of the shop with my arm inked up and a story to tell. Nothing could shake the grin from my face as I walked down the street with my sleeve rolled up and a story spelled out in pictures of ink on my arm.

The next day I sat in the front pew at my church. Sunlight filtered through the stained glass windows, projecting colored squares across the floor. A touch on the shoulder from my pastor brought me out of my deep thought.

“What’s with the tattoo son?” he asked sitting down next to me.

“It’s a symbol of what God’s done in my life,” I said smiling.

“Explain please. I am intrigued,” he said resting his hand on his knee.

“Well the heart represents my heart,” I began pointing at my arm. “the band-aid is how God broke and then repaired my damaged heart. This dotted line is part of the God-shaped-whole that was in my heart, but it’s been filled for quite a while now.”

“You’ve come a long way in the past year. I’m glad,” he said patting my back and walking away. I have. I said to myself thinking back over the last year.

I walked home slowly after church, thinking over my victories in the past year. The smell of spring and relaxing atmosphere of my town were a far cry from where I was a year ago. Imprisoned in a world of drugs and addiction.

“Hey man, you wanna buy some stuff?” a young man asked me from an alley-way.

“Nah I don’t do that anymore,” I said fighting the temptation.

“Whatever,” he said throwing his hands into his pockets. I blinked my eyes trying to rid myself of the painful memories of the hell I once enjoyed. I glanced at the ink on my arm and a wave of reassuring energy rushed over me. I smiled knowing that I had God on my side and in my heart.



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