As I began discerning my call to Christian ministry, I knew that I wanted to bind a symbol of my faith to my arm. The fish has long been a symbol of Christian faith. The Greek letters in the word ichthus form an acrostic for the Greek words for Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior. As Jesus called disciples from the fishing industry, he told them that he would teach them to fish for people, as so fish is also a sign of my calling.
I suppose my tattoo was somewhat prophetic in that I had the design include not just one fish, but a band of fish signified a never-ending call to fish for people to celebrate an eternal life in the presence of the holy and loving God. At the time I did not yet understand my call to ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church and a life-long process of discipleship, but my ink was definitely part of the process of my growth.
The fish are filled with gold to signify the eternal presence of God with me. To fill in the band, a single four-point star was used that is reminiscent of both the Star of Bethlehem announcing the birth of Christ and the cross upon which Christ accomplished the greatest work of grace for all people. It is colored in purple and outlined in white. Purple signifies my own repentance before the kingship of Jesus. White symbolizes purity that Jesus offers and the light that Jesus brings to life.
This mark of faith serves as a reminder to myself of my high calling from Jesus Christ. It also serves as a conversation starter with others as I am able to share what redemption in Christ means to me. Hope for life eternal in the presence of the glory of God gives me reason to live this life with complete joy