I’ve had my lion for over a year now, I believe. It’s one of my favorite tattoos. I mean, look at it. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It also means as much, if not more, to me than all my other tattoos. It comes with two important meanings.
- For my Dad, the most important man to me in the world. When I was a kid, my dad, my sisters, and I would play a game we invented called, you guessed it, “Lion”. My dad, the lion, would run around the house chasing us while we screech with laughter. He’d alway catch the slowest one of us and start tickling while we failed to fight him off. To stop him, or ‘kill him’, one of the other two would have to jump on his back (I’m sorry, Daddy). He would then fall to the ground, snoring with…death? To wake him up, because “Lion” is a boring game without the lion, one of us would have to jump over his legs and the book it before he caught us. I was always the one to jump over his legs because I was the youngest and the most expendable.
The point of the story is this, my father has always been and will always be such a big part of my life. I’m so incredibly lucky to have a father who has been there for us since we were children. One who found joy in the sound of our laughter and was okay with us jumping on his back. I have a father who is always there to hold us while we cry and protect us to the ends of the earth. He cares about our feelings, our dreams and fears. He loves us more than I think is possible and he desires the best for us. He’s strong, a leader, a protector. He’s my lion.
2. God. Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb. In Narnia he is portrayed as a lion, Aslan. “He’s not safe, but he is good.” Lions are magnificent, strong, dangerous, and powerful. I strive to be like God and live life with that sort of fearlessness and bravery.
Hosea 11:10 – They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west.
Job 10:16 – Should my head be lifted up, You would hunt me like a lion; And again You would show Your power against me.
Revelation 5:5-6 – And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
As BibleGateway puts it, “We can draw a number of inferences regarding the perceived characteristics and behavior of literal lions. They are, among other things, strong ( Pr 30:30 ), especially in their teeth ( Job 4:10 ) and paws ( 1 Sam 17:37 ), fearless ( Prov 28:1 ; 30:30 ), stealthy ( Psalm 17:12 ), frightening ( Ezra 19:7 ; Hosea 11:10 ; Amos 3:8 ), destructive ( 1 Sam 17:34 ; Micah 5:8 ), and territorially protective ( Isa 31:4 ). Yet for all its seeming autonomy, the lion is ultimately dependent on God ( Job 38:39-40 ; Psalm 104:21 ), answerable to him ( Job 4:10 ), and subdued in the millennial age ( Isa 11:6-7 ).”
This is my newest tattoo which I got on Friday. The wording “With love” is written in my late grandmother, Carol (Or Mia)’s handwriting. The bee was her favorite animal because scientifically and aerodynamically, bees shouldn’t be able to fly. But for some reason, they can. Whether it’s a reason science has yet to discover or simply because God created them for the ability, I don’t know but they can fly nonetheless.
We shouldn’t be able to enter heaven. Our sinful hearts and broken souls shouldn’t be able to rest in the presence of Jesus. We don’t deserve the love, mercy, or forgiveness that comes from God.
But we can enter heaven. We can worship in the presence of Jesus. And we do receive love, mercy, and forgiveness because of Him. His love and sacrifice makes these things possible.
And his power makes the impossible flight of bees possible.