There has been a story circulating on the local and national news stations this week about a man named Bayzle Morgan. You may have seen it, too. He’s a young man who is going on trial for robbery and will be facing a separate murder trial at some point as well. This man is a “Neo-Nazi” and wears that identification (as well as other identifying marks) loud and proud…on his face, head, neck, hands and body.
It seems that the obvious has become a major obstacle when it comes to justice and a fair trial. To quote from the Las Vegas Review Journal’s July24th story directly:
A month ago, a different group of possible jurors was summoned to decide on the robbery case against Morgan. But one by one, they saw his tattoos and his bald head and said they could not be fair and impartial.
You can read the story here (http://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/homicides/neo-nazi-gets-makeover-hide-tattoos-jury)
The interesting part of this story to me is the judge’s response. The judge in this case has ordered that this man’s tattoos be covered up by a professional make-up artist so there will be no bias based on his appearance. When you read the story, you will see the before and after pictures. What a difference!
A few years back I had a conversation with someone who felt intimidated when she entered a certain store because it was in an area where heavy tattooing is pervasive. The appearance of these folks left her feeling unsafe and vulnerable.(Which is funny because she has tattoos of her own.) While those tattoos are superficial marks, they often do reflect something about the person’s personality and the issues, people or things that may be important to them; both beautiful and sinister. Is it unreasonable to feel uncomfortable based on appearance? Yes. But, let’s entertain another thought. What if- after those marks were made- there was a change. What if those marks no longer reflected who that person is on the inside? My question to her was…
What if we had to wear our sins, past and present, as tattoos on our bodies?
How scary would I be? How intimidating would you be? Would those scary, shameful, intimidating and humiliating marks reflect who I am today? Would they cause people to just make wide circles around me? Would I get a fair trial?
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I am SO THANKFUL that the Lord doesn’t look at my sin marks. I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ and now I am clean. He doesn’t see those sins anymore and I am not to defile myself with new marks either. Yes, if you are saved you still sin…I still sin. When Christ takes the stand for me He will present me as the judge did this young man…only it won’t be a temporary covering painted on by a make-up artist. It will be genuine. Washed clean in the blood of the spotless Lamb and presented in white robes.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:11
When you are washed clean, walk victoriously in Christ. When you encounter others who are unsaved or saved and in bondage, remember that you were there. Not to say “look at where I am now”, but to proclaim that you have been transformed by the blood of Christ. “Look what HE has done!” Show compassion and share His love.
Man. I am overwhelmed.
I have a little tidbit to share with you. As I was looking into this story, I began to research the process of covering a tattoo with makeup because of something curious I saw. In one of the pictures in the article, the make-up artist was using something red to cover his tats. I looked up some videos online and sure enough…the best way to cover a tattoo is with a red base (lipstick or powder shadow) followed by concealer, foundation and powder and hairspray. Interesting and cool.
Your love ran red, and my sin washed white…