Back in my pre-teen years, some of our church went to another church to watch a film called “Black Gold.” Apparently it was shown to encourage prayer or financial help for the people in Africa. It showed how they enlarged their lips and earlobes with rings and tattooed themselves until they didn’t even look human. They told of the mothers abandoning their twins out in the woods because they believed them to be evil. Then there was very live and graphic footage on their practice of making scar designs on themselves. Parents took their babies to have cuts made into their faces, backs, and arms. They held them down as they cried until the procedure was completed. Then they packed the cuts with some kind of mud to stop the bleeding which apparently helped the healing process. They were raised to be really proud of the way they looked.
By this time my mother was frantically trying to get us kids out of the church. She didn’t drive and had to get our ride on board with our exit without disturbing the rest of the people. But my heart, mind, and emotions had already been damaged. It’s been almost sixty years ago and I still feel its effect.
When I go to a public place and I see people with piercings in their faces I turn sick, I have the same feeling I had when I saw those barbaric people and their poor babies. I can’t focus on conversation. I can’t even focus on the person facing me. I just have this feeling like you feel when your child sticks his hand out to show you a bad cut. I literally hurt.
Though I don’t understand why anyone would want to put holes in such wonderfully made bodies, I know that inside those pierced bodies are precious children of God. I know they are not looking with my eyes or feeling with my heart. I do not believe they are evil, but I am still repulsed by what they have done to themselves just as I was with those in the film.
Now that piercings and tattoos have become more and more popular, my goal for the new year is to learn how to by-pass my five senses and see only with my spirit the person facing me. Now I know this can’t happen without the Holy Spirit working in me and on me that I might see His creation through His eyes. The benefit of this ability will cover more than just this one issue, so I’m excited to enter into this new year and this new way of seeing.