Tattoos are more than words, names, and pictures for so many individuals, including many of our Orange Mound sisters. Some are simple and straightforward, bearing the names of their children and grandchildren or those they’ve lost along their journey, while others are embellished with colors and intricate flourishes bringing their love of flowers, nature, and art to life. “Did that hurt?” I ask, knowing well it must have, but wanting to provide an opportunity for her to tell me about her children and how much they mean to her, to share their accomplishments and their successes. I’ve seen the videos which show a rapidly pulsing needle in lapsed time. But as someone who has experienced childbirth and held the gift of life in my hands, I can imagine choosing voluntary pain to create something beautiful. Regardless of whether one chooses to use their body as a canvas for beautiful artwork, pain is already multiplied for a single mom. Parenting without a child’s father is the brutal reality for most of our friends in Orange Mound. Yet she carries on, providing for her family, wearing her children’s names to permanently illustrate her mother’s pride. Were I her child, I would be proud to call her my supporter, my encourager, my mother. I am filled with compassion for these women who work diligently to support their children. I am also angry that hundreds of men have abdicated their responsibility and disowned their children in our community. Parenting is plural. If the father is engaged in the process, a child has a much higher chance of beginning his or her life with hope, support, and courage. We encourage all of our single moms who are working hard to support their families to know the promises of Scripture, particularly Psalm 68:5, which reminds us Jesus is the Father to the fatherless and defender of widows and single mothers. His intimate presence is truth.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” - Psalm 68:5The Lord’s guidance on their behalf is guaranteed, and we need only to ask. He has tattooed our names on the palm of His hand in Isaiah 49:16. His promises accompany our mission in Orange Mound to protect and provide for each of our employees and their immediate families.
“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” - Isaiah 49:16