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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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When it was over, the grump Saran-wrapped my torso and told me how to take care of my new tattoo. I was barely listening, and I left with a spring in my step. I was happy because the pain had stopped, and because I thought I had somehow outwitted my own sinful nature. I’d made a promise to myself that I could not break without the help of a very skilled dermatologist and as many hours of pain as it took to put it there in the first place.
But the spring was fading by the time I got to 110th street, to the friend’s apartment where I was staying. And the next morning, when I woke and discovered that I had made a large and permanent dragon imprint upon his very fancy sheets, the whole thing already seemed like folly. Questions occurred to me like: Why did I get it on my back, where I won’t even see it? Why did it have to be so big? And why can’t I just look at the sun and the clouds and remember that someone wanted me to be good, or that someone thought I could be?
The great regret lasted no longer than the euphoria, and what settled in me was a combination of the two. But the experience made me more distrustful of making such a covenant with myself. A covenant is about security, but if I am good it is probably because I am spiritually insecure. Maybe instead of trying to quiet my unease, I should learn to live creatively with the fact that I am almost never sure about the right thing to do.
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