Bind Them As A Sign

There’s this passage in Deuteronomy that I love,

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

[Deut 6:4-9]

It’s such a physical thing. Maybe God know’s we’re not so good with abstract concepts; after all, wasn’t that the point of the Incarnation? God with us. Flesh & blood. Physical.

At my old flat, I had scribbled in big, bold, red letters above my bedroom door “LOVE WINS”. Every time I left my room I caught a glimpse of those words. Regular reminders of the world that is to come, the kingdom we are anticipating.

Then I took it to another level. Five months ago, I got inked:

And yep, it’s physical. It hurt. I’m a wimp [No surprise there!]. Bind them as a sign… It’s not on my forehead, but it’s an emblem for sure, and it’s fixed on my ankle.

These past few weeks I’ve realised how important it is for me. It’s been a beautiful & difficult few weeks – I’ve come to expect that paradox now. Broken & beautiful. Grieving for friends I’ve lost. Celebrating with friends embarking on new journeys. Searching for my own answers.

Some days I want to give up. Some days it’s hard to keep going.

And then I catch a glimpse of my ankle. And I’m reminded of the God who leads me on a wild goose chase. Who is making all things new.

And the pain of getting inked was totally worth it.

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2 Responses to “Bind Them As A Sign”


  1. 1 suz December 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    good reminder of the physicality of who God is… reading Nouwen at the mo, and uit’s another reminder of the fact that we should be looking for and expecting to see God in the people around us.and that God resides in people. i think thats part of why i love camden, i keep getting these little glimpses of God in people. good thoughts.. :)

  2. 2 emmsy December 19, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Love that Camden is helping you to catch those glimpses of God. Nouwen is some heavy ready – I read one of his books, Reaching Out, a few months ago and man, it’s working on me. It’s intense, but good.


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