“Mama, can I see Jesus on your arm?” Asha asked me as she turned my arm around to see the sun with a soft, smiling face just below my elbow. Pausing for a second, I was stunned, for I was not expecting such a powerful question. This tender moment happened candidly for the first time just before Asha turned two. After this initial inquiry, she continues to ask to see “Jesus on my arm.”
The sun tattoo is an Ebenezer, a reminder of a full-circle moment that shifted my life forever. The artwork is a remembrance of the miracle God did to bring Asha into my womb and the world. Several years ago, I shared this precious story of reclaiming my femininity and epiphany of Asha’s name on Red Tent Living.
On the day Asha asked for the first time, I was waist-deep into my deconstruction of faith and hesitating in my walk with God. The story behind the sun felt far away, nothing more than a bleak backdrop to my current reality. Asha’s profound engagement shook my soul, causing me to wonder if she intuitively knew that the sun was a relic symbolizing her miracle of life and that Jesus had something significant to do with it all.
Chris and I had never discussed with her what Jesus looked like or the story of this particular tattoo. Nor had we discussed the whereabouts of Jesus or emphasized Christianity much during her young life. However, I think with Asha’s young, unscathed perceptivity, she demonstrated an innate ability to walk with the Spirit.
Asha’s verbalized perceptions gave me a language to the concept of our felt sense of self, described as one’s ability to act on the felt sense of the body, turning insight into practical action. I’m familiar with this approach through my trauma-informed yoga practice. Tuning in to the felt sense of the body is a powerful method that can initiate the validation of our perceptions, especially when we feel safe enough to make informed decisions based on our felt sensations.
Asha’s candor spurred me on, back to the wonder of being closely attuned with the Spirit. As I sat in my muck of unbelief, I could not help but remember the remarkable truth that reconstructed my life and produced a new discernment of what healing can be. In my wonder, I knew her words were indeed a gift to my wavering heart, offering reconnection to the trust in the Trinity that so profoundly rooted me.
There is no boundary to the extent to which God will move to reach you and make the glory of your soul known.
Through the mouth of babes, truth is spoken. Asha’s natural inclination to recognize the mark of the miracle brought me back to the awe of the Spirit. Like Asha, when I pause to listen to my innate senses, I can hear the rumblings of the Spirit.
I believe Asha showed me something unique, that there is a delicate margin of spiritual receptivity. If we bypass our bodies, felt senses, and inclinations, we indeed avoid the intuitive understanding of the Spirit within us and around us. However, if we are brave enough to sit within the margin of our soul, I believe we will discover a wellspring of connectivity to the Trinity.
Just as Asha plainly inquiries, “I want to see Jesus on your arm,” may we be encouraged to seek the holy that is happening all around each day. From breakfast tables to tattoos, Jesus is with us and all around us.
Anna Smith is the Founder of Hope Bound Collective in Ft. Collins, offering trauma informed yoga, counseling and retreats. Anna has a resilient passion to see trauma survivors experience healing and wholeness. Mother to Asha and wife to Chris she enjoys biking with her husband Chris, reading, cooking, throwing pottery, running and yoga. Learn more about Hope Bound Collective here.