I have always loved the concept of “poiema” -
a friend of ours owned a tattoo shop in Southern California, and that was what he called it. “Poiema” - this was actually the first exposure I had to this powerful Greek word. Some of my best friends worked there, and it taught me so much about the gospel.
When Dawn and I got married, one of our first stops was to poiema, to get matching tattoos together.
For a short period in our lives, we lived near the shop, and it amazed me that every morning, before they started tattooing, they would have a bible study. They would open it up to anyone, and the times that we joined them were amazing. It was honest, it was real, there was depth… and then after they prayed out, they got out the tattoo guns and started tattooing.
This type of thing seems to be more common now, but 15 years ago, the idea of a tattoo shop that started every day with a Bible study was not exactly normal. And that is what we loved so much about it.
Because an industry that, for whatever misguided reason, the world viewed as something that is “anti-Christian” was actually creating the safest spaces I had seen a long time, for someone to not only BE a Christian, but also BE who they are at the same time.
and that is the gospel. That Jesus loves you just as you are… that He meets you, just as you are. That He laid down His life for the you that you are right now, and that He will take everything broken and from bring forth something beautiful… something that He can use to reach others.
And he breathes life into things that others may not see any life in.
And no matter what anyone has said about you… or spoken over you… Jesus loves you and he wants to use you for his glory.
This next example is totally different… because I don’t believe that it is sinful to own a tattoo shop or get a tattoo (I have them)…
but just yesterday, I toured a church that meets in what used to be a XXX theatre. They bought the theatre, and turned it into a church. And suddenly a building with years of dark history that fueled addiction and perversion was in a moment redeemed for the Glory of God and turned into a house of worship and restoration and reconciliation. Because that is what Jesus does…
He makes all things new.
He can redeem the broken things.
(like XXX theatres)
And He will work through the unorthodox things.
(like Christian-owned tattoo shops that look more like Jesus than even some churches sometimes do!)
So no matter where you found yourself yesterday, and no matter what people may say about you today… just remember: