Inklings of Meaning

Megan Benoit, Campus Carrier Features Editor

Leo Narrison, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor

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Junior Lauren Burnette’s tattoo on the back of her neck says, ‘Talitha koum’ which means ‘little girl, I say to you, get up’ to represent her faith in Jesus.

Tattoos give a unique opportunity to permanently express a belief, experience or admiration for someone. 

Many Berry students have seized this opportunity, and have decided to put their life experiences into tattoos. 

Junior Lauren Burnette decided to use one of her favorite phrases from the Bible found in Mark chapter five as her tattoo. In script writing on the back of her neck it says ‘Talitha koum’ which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up.’ 

In the story, a man name Jairus has a daughter who is sick. He seeks out Jesus to come and heal her, but by the time Jesus arrives, the little girl is dead. Then, Jesus assures everyone that the little girl is not dead, she is just sleeping. He then tells her Talitha koum. She then gets up and begins walking around. 

“I read the story and thought this represents our lives as Christians and believers,” Burnette said. “We were once dead in our sins but now we are alive.” 

Burnette got the tattoo the summer following her freshman year of college. After a difficult year, Burnette said she learned to find the freedom from the Lord and realized that she needed Him to make her alive again. 

“The meaning still resonates with me a lot,” Burnette said. “People ask me about it, and it goes along with my mission in life. It is an immediate conversation to the gospel, and it is a constant reminder of who I am.” 

Burnette said that it is a unique look into her story and how Jesus has changed her life. 

“It’s not meant to draw attention to who I am,” Burnette said. “I want it to glorify who the Lord is, and that’s why I got it because I am now a new creation in the Lord.” 

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Junior Coleman Duke has the logo of the non-profit organization ‘More than a Game’ with the flags of the countries he has been to for mission trips.

Junior Coleman Duke has been on several mission trips through an organization called ‘More than a Game.’ His experiences led him to get a tattoo in honor and in remembrance of the mission trips. 

‘’It is just a constant reminder of all the places I’ve been and the stuff its taught me,” Duke said. 

He got his tattoo this past May, right before going on his fourth mission trip. 

“It’s on my right arm, and its two hands shaking. It is the logo of the mission organization I work with,” Duke said. “It has all the countries I’ve been to, which are Cameroon, the United States, Dominican Republic and Columbia.”

Duke played baseball for 17 years, and his high school coach is the founder of the non-profit organization ‘More than a Game,’ which also works with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Together they build baseball fields, teach kids baseball and spread the gospel.

He enjoys sharing with others about his experiences, and his tattoo acts as a gateway into those conversations. He also plans on taking another trip to the Dominican Republic this upcoming summer.

“It reminds me to stay humble and not take anything for granted,” Duke said.

Junior Slade Dale has two full sleeves of tattoos that he estimates took about 12 hours for each arm.

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Four views of Dale’s right arm shown above.

“Most of them resemble Christianity and my faith in Jesus,” Dale said. “On both arms combined I have about 10 Bible verses, and I have a picture that goes with each Bible verse.”

Dale got his first tattoo on his 18th birthday that says ‘Pray for strength but expect the fight.’

“That is something that my dad had told me growing up,” Dale said. “Playing sports or anything in life, it’s going to be hard and expect for it to be tough, but to pray for it.”

Some of the pictures include a wolf, compass, zodiac sign, lighthouse and an anchor. Each verse has a special meaning to Dale, especially the tattoo of a compass with the verse John 14:6, which says ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

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Four views of Dale’s left arm shown above.

“This one is important to me because it was the first tattoo that my sister and my dad came with me to get, and it is one of those life verses to me. One of the ones I try to depend on, lean on and trust in,” Dale said. “A compass is like looking for a way to go and this tattoo reminds me that Jesus is the way.”

Dale said the most meaningful tattoos are in honor of his family.

“I have three birds on my left arm because my parents split up when we were younger and me and my sister lived with my dad,” Dale said. “So, I have us three on one side, then I have my mom on my other arm because we didn’t live with her. Then she ended up moving back to Georgia a couple years ago. So, when I put my arms together it shows that she is coming back to us.”

Dale said that his tattoos are great conversation starters and that he can share his faith through that.

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