A Bit of Heaven Beneath a Sports Bra

In retrospect, it seems that a lot of my blogs involve caffeine procurement.

This blog is no exception. It took place at Starbucks. The one located inside the local Hy-Vee. The one with no drive-thru.

I was walking from the parking lot to the store when a twenty-something female reached the automatic door at the same time I did. I slowed and let her enter in front of me. I was rewarded in two ways:

  1. I received a refresher course on what an amazing material spandex is; AND,
  2. I was inspired by what followed to write this blog.

As I stood in line behind her, I glanced over her shoulder to see what type of coffee was brewing. It was then that I made an intriguing discovery. (Note: I am a firm believer that Yogi Berri was right when he said “You can observe a lot just by watching.”) Tattooed between her shoulders was Proverbs 2?: 5-6. It wasn’t actually 2?. Part of her tattoo was obscured by the “X” of her sports bra strap.

As I waited for the first person in line to finish her very detailed instructions regarding exactly what she wanted in her
“Skinny Latte”, two questions came to my mind:

  1. Isn’t “Skinny Latte” an oxymoron? And,
  2. I wonder what scripture was important enough for this woman to have it tattooed on her back?

Finally, my curiosity got the better of me.

“Excuse me” I said politely. “I was just wondering what verse in Proverbs you have tattooed on your back?”

Smiling (thankfully), she moved her bra strap to one side so I could see: Proverbs 27:5-6.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend. Bitter are the kisses of an enemy” she quoted. An unusual, but insightful, choice of tattoos. A friend may hurt you when they are trying to help, but watch out when an enemy is nice to you. I was hoping she might share the story that motivated her to have it tattooed on her backside, but just then she got her order. With a beverage in each hand she turned, smiled, and left the building.

I am a big fan of Proverbs, the twentieth book of the the Old Testament. The wisdom contained in its thirty-one chapters was written, or at least compiled, by King Solomon. When God gave Solomon the choice of anything he wanted, he chose wisdom over riches, fame or power.

Proverbs is divided up into thirty-one chapters – very handy for reading one chapter each day of the month. It is possible to easily glean some nuggets of wisdom each morning while drinking your coffee, or skinny latte, or whatever else kickstarts your brain.

Some of my favorite verses from the book of Proverbs are:

10:14 – A wise person holds their tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything they know.

26:17 – Getting involved in an argument that is none of your business is like going down the street and grabbing a dog by the ears.

26:20 – Without wood, a fire goes out; without gossip, quarreling stops.

4:23 – Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.

11:25 – Be generous and you will be prosperous. Help others and you will be helped.

But if I was going to choose one verse from Proverbs to have tattooed on my backside, it would be Proverbs 14:4:

“An empty stable stays clean, but much increase comes by the strength of an ox.” (Loose translation according to me: You can accomplish more if you are willing to deal with a lot of BS. Or, in King Solomon’s case, O.S.) I have found that bit of wisdom especially pertinent in my life.

Proverbs 4:7 says “Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do.”

Even, I believe, if it is partially concealed beneath the strap on a sports bra.