This is Justin, and he is the worship leader at our church, Center Pointe Christian. He is also the lead singer in a worship band called Carrollton (click on the name and check them out..they're really good). His family had another addition this past year, and I was doing photos of all the families in our church who had babies last year. I did this right before his family came into the room for the family shot.
This image was over 4 years in the making. I mention that not because it's the best photo I've ever taken, or the most complex, but because I got the image. I'm trying to get better about that, and hopefully reducing the 4 year wait between idea and image. As is usually the case, I saw something slightly different in my head. For one thing, I realized the placement of the tattoos made it physically difficult to be completely forward facing as I had envisioned. Justin has some good hats, so I had thought of having him with one of his hats on looking down slightly. This was a story about reflection, a story about what was written on his arm and hand.
The saying on his left arm is in Hebrew, and translates to something close to 'Resting In The Darkness'. It's based on Isaiah 50:10-11 in the Bible.
10 - Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in the darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. 11 - But watch out, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves by your own fires. This is the reward you will receive from me: You will soon fall down in great torment.
Justin's most recognizable tattoo is the cross on his right hand. When I found out (4 years ago) what the Hebrew meant a story created by the connection of those two tattoos popped into my head. In the darkness, there is fear, and uncertainty. It makes us want to hold on tight, or clench our fists. The other hand is the ray of light we are to wait on. The cross shines light into the darkness, and frees us. Our hands are open in relief and praise.
It struck me as I was putting this together, his verse about darkness comes from Isaiah in the Old Testament. Isaiah also provides the most complete Old Testament vision of who the Messiah would be. Yet another way this story weaves together.
I'm thankful that Justin and his family were gracious enough this morning to allow me a couple extra minutes to try and tell this story.