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How I Judged a Tattooed Mother and Then Had to Eat My Words

Andrea G. Schwartz
  • Andrea G. Schwartz,
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There's nothing quite like witnessing the power of God in someone's life. And there's nothing quite like being on the receiving end of having to "eat my words" (actually they were thoughts) along with my preconceived notions and attitudes! I incorrectly judged a book by its cover and gained a better understanding of the passage: 

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47)

I recently spoke at a homeschool conference, and while in the exhibit hall, I observed a slender, petite woman covered in tattoos on her back and front.  She walked about looking at various curriculum offerings completely oblivious to outside opinions-especially mine-and I assumed that her "fashion statement" was all about showing off her bodily artwork. I made all sorts of mental value judgments about her.

How She Won Me Over

The next morning, I spoke at my workshop "Equipping Parents for Kingdom Advancement," which is a talk I give about the necessity for parents to know God's law and be able to apply it. As I looked up at my audience, there was the tattooed woman sitting bright-eyed and attentive.

She was not shy. She asked insightful questions and was nodding in agreement to much of what I had to say. I could tell my attitude was changing from criticism to curiosity. After all, nothing wins over a speaker like an attentive audience member!

As with most of my talks, I made book suggestions for my listeners, and to my amazement, while I was talking with other workshop attendees, my tattooed listener headed straight for the Chalcedon book table and purchased Rushdoony's Institutes of Biblical Law and The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum-both were books I suggested in my workshop. Wow!

What We Need to Do and How We Need to Do It!

When I returned to the booth, she was still there and gave me a gigantic hug.  She thanked me for my inspiring and practical workshop and explained that she and her husband had recently watched Colin Gunn's documentary, "Indoctrination" and decided to obey God by removing their children from public school! They came to this conference to find out what they needed to do and how to do it

She told me her story about how God had delivered her from a past of alcohol and drug abuse. That, of course, is always delightful to hear, but I was struck at how she kept saying over and over that the Lord was in their decision to homeschool and that He had directed them to this conference to show them what to do and how to do it. Her look of anticipation, resolve, and hope was an inspiration to me!

I've witnessed many people over the years experience the discovery of obedience to God through Christian education, but this woman was especially memorable because I realized that God truly does look upon those whose hearts and minds are turned towards Him regardless of what they look like.

"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)