Students are not the only ones walking around with inked skin and a story to tell. Bible professor Jordan Minnich Kjesbo tells the story behind the two tattoos that he has.
What are your tattoos?
I have a traditional swallow on the inside of my right forearm and Hebrew script of Joshua 4:22 on the outside.
When did you get your first tattoo?
My first tattoo was the swallow on my arm. I got the tattoo at Godspeed Tattoo while on vacation in Breckinridge, CO. I got the Hebrew script, which was a graduation gift from my amazing wife, done at Deluxe Tattoo in Chicago, IL, when I was in town to present my first academic paper at a conference.
What do your tattoos mean?
In traditional tattoo, a swallow is a sign of experience. I was finishing up an extremely challenging season of ministry in Denver and I wanted to remember how much experience I had gained during that season of life. Although it was a very painful season, I had grown so much through the struggles. Joshua 4:22 is why I have tattoos. They are markers to God’s faithfulness. I have them so that when my daughter or son ask about the bird on one arm of the funky letters on the other, I can tell them stories of a God who does amazing things in our times of need.
Why did you decide to get a tattoo?
I wanted to remember and have a prompt for telling stories. Tattoos work on both levels. Plus the art form is amazing and the pain is so good. Seriously, it’s one of the best feelings in the whole world. It hurts like crazy but it is a productive pain. There really isn’t anything else like it.
What is your advice to someone who is thinking of getting a tattoo?
Make them significant. The process of getting a tattoo can be as important as the art itself. Make a memory and create a story worth telling.