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Marked For Life

An elderly woman stood at the consultation window of the pharmacy. As customary, we discussed her recent diagnosis and newest medication. As we spoke I couldn’t help but notice a tattoo on her forearm. I tried not to make it obvious, but I couldn’t help but look. It is not everyday I see a 70 + year old woman with a tattoo. “Maintain eye contact” the professional me kept telling myself. Unable to hide my curiosity, I inquired about the tattoo. Her accented answer stunned me. “This tattoo was my number. The Nazi’s gave me this number in a German concentration camp.” I had all but forgotten about meeting this woman until Sunday. When our Pastor read these words “…you were marked in him..” my mind was immediately transported back in time to meeting this woman nearly 10 years ago. As our Pastor continued to give a phenomenal message on God’s grace, my mind was still on this German woman, Holocaust survivor, marked for life.

“And you were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory.”

-Ephesians 1:13-14

All week my mind replayed the verse “you were marked.” All week I thought of her, the tattoo seared in my mind. All week I prayed and asked God if this was something He wanted me to share. God answered. On Tuesday, an elderly gentleman stood at the same consultation window. Upon his head was a WWII hat. I thanked him for his service to our country. He smiled, pleased to have the opportunity to share that he was a tail-gunner. It was by the grace of God he made it out alive. He too was marked for life.

Marked for life. Her tattoo is proof that she was marked for life. Their post-war presence was proof that they were marked for life; one as a Holocaust survivor, the other an unknown hero battling the war. Each marked by grace…for life. Chills run down my spine as I type these words.

I too have been marked for life. I do not have a serial number tattoo nor do I have a dramatic story to tell like the WWII survivors. But my life has been marked by God’s grace. My marks reside on the only man-made thing in Heaven–the scars on Jesus’ hands. Because of Him the I am “marked in him.” I believe my tattoo to be an invisible one etched on my soul that reads (as our Pastor says) “Property of God forever!”


“May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12

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