Beards & Tattoos

Mark and Justin discuss how beards and tattoos have become meaningful parts of their identities. They share stories behind Justin’s 11 tattoos and Mark’s 5-year beard journey. Though cautioning against over-identifying with external appearances, they reflect on how tattoos and beards can represent faith, relationships, interests, and uniqueness.

Share your beard, tattoo, or other appearance story with us at [email protected], or on our contact page:


Lexus please shout out that thing over in the corner.

Shut up the lights.

It’s not Alexa.



No, it’s not Roomba either, but that’s okay.

Hey, Google.

I got.

Oh, yeah.

Hey, Google.

Shut off the lights.

Thank you.

It’s not dark.

You did it though.

That sounds a lot better.


Shout out the little dust collector.

I started, I need a respirator.

It’s not about respiration.

It’s about keeping my office less dusty.

I believe you.


Well, that helps your respiration.

Yeah, you’re right.


You’re right.

I’m just saying I don’t care about my respiration.

I care about dusting less.

I understand.

But now it’s gonna be dusty because marks up my lights.

That’s right.

That’s right As long as you don’t start dozing on me.

We’re good.

I mean it feels a little cozy in here with just Yeah, the noise comes down the days are getting shorter.

They are.

Yeah, yeah, it’s darker up.

Yeah I don’t know.

It’s weird.

It just really I just really noticed it after coming home coming back to our house Yeah, we’re being in Pennsylvania.

It’s like maybe I was getting up later.

I’m sure I was getting up later to where like when I was actually getting up at normal time, it’s like, man, those five, you know, those seven days or whatever, it’s like, it seems dark now.





But I don’t have to worry about the sun coming up and shining like right in your face.

Not that I worry about it.

But yeah.



It makes you look so glowing when it happens.

Oh, I tell you, (laughing) It feels like I’m glowing.

(laughing) So yeah.

~ We can switch sides one of these things.

~ Oh no, that would just change up the equilibrium entirely too much.

~ Right.

~ Yeah, I like being able to see out the windows.

~ Oh yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ That’s true.

~ It’s right now to be distracted.

~ I should put some mirrors on the other wall.

~ Yeah, you could do that.

~ Good.

~ Yeah, that would make your office feel bigger.

~ It would, yeah.

in the process of the day.

One seems so confining.

~ And then I could do aerobics in here.

~ Yes.

~ Yes, put a little bar on the wall that you can do ballet.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ I could.

~ You could.

~ It is an opportunity I could embrace.

~ You could.

You’d have to move your record player.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Your toy shelves.

(laughing) – Yep, pretty much.

Pretty much.

~ It would be good.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah, good to see you.

How are you this morning?

~ I’m well.

~ Yeah.

~ I’m well sleepy.

~ Yeah.

~ When it gets a little darker in the morning, it does make you kind of feel.

~ Yeah, those are Canadian rhythms, kinda.

~ Yeah, yeah, they got a little confused.

~ They got a little confused.

~ Maybe, yeah.

~ But, good.

~ Glad to hear that.

~ Yeah.

~ Glad to hear that.

~ How are you and your beard doing?

~ Me and my beard, I believe we are both well.

~ Good.

~ We are typically a package deal.

~ So, like you say, do the degree that one of us does well?

~ You don’t have good days, but your beard has bad days?

~ I don’t think so.

~ Okay.

~ I don’t think so.

~ Well, you know, we don’t, us who can’t do beards don’t know that much about how beards work, so.

~ Yeah, I’m not sure how much beards do work, to be honest with you at times.

How about you and your tattoos?

(laughs) – Yeah, I think they typically follow my mental state as well.

~ Yeah.

(laughs) Now, just out of curiosity.

~ Go ahead.

~ You are a man of tattoos.

~ I have something, yes.

~ Yes.

And I’m, and I’m, and I know of different people who have them for different significance.

~ Oh yeah.

~ Loss of a loved one or, you know, just reminders of a time or a place or that kind of thing.

Would you say there are moments when just being able to see or reflect on a tattoo can actually change your mental state.

~ Yes.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ How else will help me understand that for you?

~ For me, it’s kind of like how the Israelites would build monuments or I guess what do they call altars?

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ The remembering places, right?

~ Right.

Yeah, it’s an altar, build an altar, like take the stones and stack them up as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

~ All right, my good friend, Brandon McCain.

~ Yeah.

~ Hopefully he’ll listen to this one and get the shout out.

Yeah, he always would bring up stones of remembrance in small group to the point where the other guys would kind of rip them about it.

~ Okay.

~ He’d always talk about it.

But yeah, kind of that.

I mean, essentially that’s what my tattoos are almost universally.

So yeah, I mean, the same way that an Israelite would walk past an altar that was built 100 years ago and remember why that was built and kind of, you know what I mean?

~ Sure.

~ That’s somewhat how my tattoos serve.

But obviously they’re with me every day, so it’s not like every time I look at one, I’m thinking about it means, but there are times where, there are times where looking at one makes, remember why and, you know, like kind of embrace that concept.

And then there are other times where that concept is in my mind and I think about my tattoo.

Does that make sense?

~ Sure.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah, yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ It goes both, it’s a reciprocal thing.

~ Yeah.

~ Sometimes the tattoos are a reminder, Sometimes the thought is a reminder of the tattoo.

~ Yeah.

Would you say that that concept applies to your beard?

~ Ah, no.

~ Yeah, it’s different.

~ Yeah, it’s completely different.

And that’s where it’s kind of interesting as we think about beards and tattoos ’cause they are so different.

~ The differences and likenesses of beards and tattoos.

~ Exactly.

~ What I think what the interesting part for me is, there is typically, I think everybody, I would dare say most everybody, has a bent or a view regarding one or the other.

~ Yeah.

~ ‘Cause I’m routinely reminded, I still, I’ve had this for five years and I still don’t always realize that I have a beard yet.

In other words, I was so long without a beard did it.

Al-FAnan after Lizzie was born, that’s where the significance of the beard really came into play.

That’s what it was about because initially there were so many people that would come up to Lizzie or Chris and I and say, oh my goodness, where did you get your red hair from?

And so, you know, those prior to my beard turning primarily gray, I would grow a beard in the winter time and then keep it for a while because it was at that moment.

It was like, it was a tipping of the hat, if you will, to be able to kind of take some of that pressure off.

It’s like, where’d that red hair come from?

Oh my goodness, you know.

And so yeah, from my ears down on my face is red, and it makes perfect sense.

But yeah, it was just that desire that started that.

And then it just kinda one day I just said, “Now I guess we’ll keep going, see what happens.

” And it’s just kinda been a fun study, if you will, observation.

I finally got, I think I’m finally to the end of, my dad, if I may say.

So saying, “When are you gonna shave that thing off?

” You know, he’s like– – Five years in, he’s maybe starting to accept this.

~ Yeah, he’s definitely accepted at this point.

I don’t hear those comments like that anymore in sarcasm.

~ Same.

~ Yeah.

~ With the dead.

~ But, so yeah, that’s been fun.

And it’s interesting because I just recognize that people view me differently.

And sometimes it catches me off guard both ways.

It catches me off guard when a young kid at the Chick-fil-A drive-through is basically start stroking his chin and all of a sudden he says, “Nice beer.

” It’s like you can tell there’s a appreciation there.

~ A reverence.

~ Not quite, well hopefully not quite, but yeah, it’s on that verge.

And then there’s other times when you get the other side of the equation, what do you hide?

That kind of thing.

And typically I hear that in almost in a church setting, more often than not.

It’s like, what do you hide?

That kind of thing that there’s something almost sinister about having a beard.

So yeah, it’s kind of comical, the different views you can.

And I’m sure you get that with tattoos as well.

~ Well, I was just gonna say about the beard thing like that, concept that that it would be in any way polarizing right like that there would be some people love some people hate it sure well I guess visually I think you know I can think of wives saying I hate when he wears a beer I love it that kind of thing of course that but more like I wouldn’t have thought of it being a stigmatic kind of thing right like I’ll show you might get you know not have the same level of respect or trust because you have a beer I never that concept never would have occurred to me.

~ No, definitely.

And then I think in some ways it is more generational.

~ Sure.

~ You know, from that perspective, but it definitely has that, that definitely a polarizing context to it.

~ Interesting.

~ In that dynamic.

And I think even it, I think some cases, it even depends on, I mean, when I think of my beard, I’m on the excessive end of beard growth type stuff.

I’m not a, you know, everybody knows me, knows, you know, I’m not necessarily, what was the, the duck dynasty guys?

You know, I’m not, my duck dynasty era is gone.

~ You don’t have to untangle it from your belly button.

~ That’s just right.

But yeah, it’s where– – There’s a picture for you.

~ Exactly, I’m moving right along on that one.

But yeah, being able to recognize that, that time is done.

But yeah, I’ll probably stay on the longer side of a beard for me, ’cause that’s just like, that’s where I think I wanna be.

But yeah.

~ I know of it.

It was a month or so ago.

You got a beard trim and they definitely, they trimmed it more than you intended.

~ Yes, very much so.

~ Yeah, I remember it was like, “Oh, I can see Old Mark a little bit.

” You can see the shape of your cheeks.

I’m like, “Oh yeah, no, I remember what Mark looked like before the beard.

” – Yeah.

~ And it does change the looks of a person alive.

It’s crazy.

~ It does.

~ Do you know there’s a guy in a church who had a big long red beard?

~ Yep.

~ Yeah, and he drove motorcycle a lot.

~ Yep.

~ Prince was his last name.

~ Yeah.

~ And he had, he shaved it once.

~ Yeah.

~ I think it was for a notion.

It was like a church thing.

~ I think it was for a notion.

~ Where we’re all gonna shave and then grow a beard, yeah.

So he shaved it and it was, wow.

~ Yeah.

~ That transformation.

~ Yeah.

~ And ’cause we had only ever known ’em with the huge beard, you know?

~ Sure.

~ So that was, that was fascinating.

But yeah, it is crazy how the transformation that can happen and how different of a persona you can take on with a beard?

~ Sure.

~ Like, I don’t know, a person is the right word, but like, like you look like a different person.

So it’s like putting on a mask.

But maybe not, you know, I would assume that’s not how you treat it, but like, It’s like a different, I don’t know.

~ I will say there is a, I can honestly say there are times when it can become a mask.

~ Sure.

~ And it’s interesting to me because I know, and it just happened, I was actually this past weekend.

I went up to my families in Pennsylvania and I walked up to, I tried to stop a guy that I knew because he takes care of my parents and does a nice job of plowing them out in the wintertime.

So I just wanted to definitely stop him and say thank you.

And it was funny because he was definitely, he’s far from overweight or anything, but he had put on some pounds from one eye to where I wasn’t necessarily sure of him because his body size was bigger.

And it’s like, I waved him down.

It’s like, I could tell he just didn’t know who I was.

you know, I reached up shook his hands, Mark Pratt, and it’s all, you know, it’s like instantly, you know, the voice, and I can still remember, even when I was doing community mental health, you know, when I shifted out of that, I’m living in this area still.

And it was neat to see what, when I grew the beard, it’s like nobody recognized me.

You know, I, as long as I kept my mouth shut, my voice is a little bit distinctive, you know, in the– – It’s actually down here, yeah.

Yeah, true, PowerPoint, you know, where I am location makes a big difference.

But as long as I kept my mouse shot, I could see my prior clients.

And I never had to worry about, you know, it’s like, Oh, Mark, you know, and that whole kind of thing that’s yeah.

So yeah, it can be a it can be a mask and it’s been interesting.


Yeah, I can admit that.

So it’s been beneficial in the sense of not having to having impromptu community health sessions in Walmart.




Yeah, it is.

It is.

No offense to those people, you know, but it’s just, okay, that’s not where I’m at anymore.



And yet, you know, it’s- And seeing you would be very triggering the wrong word, but in a good sense, like, “Oh, he’s the guy that makes me feel good.

I’m going to go talk to him.

” Hopefully so.


But yeah, it’s interesting to think about that, and too, because there are people who who won’t recognize me, who I might want to recognize me.

And yet there are other people on the other end and it’s like, no, I’m gonna be able to just kind of walk right on by.

And as long as I don’t say anything, I’d say able to do that.

~ Yeah, it’s just me.

~ Yeah.

So as you think about the tattoos, I’m thinking about, for me, I think, what did you call me?

I think you called me a, Well, I grew it out first.

A beatnik?

Did you call me a beatnik or something?


It had something to do with an era that it reminded you of.

Like– – I don’t remember that conversation.

~ Oh, I remember that conversation, but I can’t remember the exact– – Beatnik is typically a word in my book.

~ Yeah, but it had something to do with like a 70s era.

a 70s, 70s era type.


Aye, was it hipster?

It could have.

I don’t think it was hipster either.

It definitely wasn’t hippie.

That’d be funny.


I said, oh, you’re trying to be hipster, because if you know Mark, that’s the opposite of what he’s trying to be.

But either way, it was funny, because I remember you brought up kind of like a, it reminded you of a social or a cultural, era.

So, and it’s okay.

It’s okay.

I wasn’t even offended, but it reminded, and that’s where I was at.

Did I say no offense?

Not as far as I’m concerned.

That would be a markism.

Remember I said, this is when we first kind of, when I first saw, like you say, markisms maybe weren’t necessarily a thing.

But I’m thinking about it from a cultural dynamic.

you see trends or circumstances come and go.

How do you, have you noticed that with tattoos as well?

That there are, I mean granted, you’re, how old are you, 38?

~ 40.

~ 40, okay.

~ On the dot.

~ So yes, on the dot, today’s your birthday.

~ Well, it’s the year of anyway.

~ Oh, okay.

~ The big dot.

(laughs) The year long dot.

~ Gotcha.

So yeah, it’s trying to think, oh yeah, it’s been that long since it’s been to f3.

What 40 years?

No, two years because it’s like I’m thinking about it in the context of what you need to say.

Yeah, what you used to say And I didn’t I didn’t calculate and yeah, that’s all right.

Well, at least you got Frisbee in there That’s the important part, but that’s why that’s why it’s going with 38, but in your and you’re whopping 38 years.

Yes 40 well, yes – 40.

(laughing) – At after you.

~ So we go back to after you.

~ On the dot, on the dot of 40 years.

Would you say you’ve seen, and that’s why I’m at, this cultural dynamic of the ebb and flow?

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Describe that.

~ Well, what’s interesting is I feel like I’ve seen it with tattoos and beards.

~ Oh yeah.

~ Right?

Like where their beards became insanely popular.

~ Ah.

~ Right?

~ In the last, come on.

~ Well, probably since Don’t Dynasty, I would say.

~ Yeah, maybe.

~ Definitely had an impact on the bearded culture.

And I guess that’s where I, I’m not saying I was uninfluenced by that.

~ No, I don’t.

~ Again, the last person I think of as being influenced by culture, but there was definitely like a, I wanna say the last 20 years, like increase.

~ Okay.

~ Major, to where, excuse me, beards were very popular in mainstream and the big beard, but the suit and everything.

It just became a huge thing.

~ In the last 20 years or so.

~ Well, I’m just saying that was, I wanna say I wanna see that the arc was in that 20 years.

~ Okay.

~ Became very popular.

Now, I wanna say it’s dipping now.

And I almost want to say it’s which it tipped over into mustache.


So like God, for instance, you know, okay, wasn’t setting that culture.

It was kind of following the culture of like, uh, mustaches started becoming a thing.

And you can see like, yeah, a lot of younger guys, like John’s age, sport, sport in a stash, which, huh, you know, those were gone for a long time.



I hadn’t thought about it from a mustache perspective.

But definitely beards for a little while there.

I mean, it was all the rage.

~ Gotcha.

~ Yeah.

So how did you see that with tattoos?

~ Yeah, same in the sense of, I’m gonna go with that 20 years, but.

~ Really?

~ Yeah, I’m just making numbers up, Mark.

~ I’m asking that.

~ I’m curious.

~ Yeah, growing up, tattoos were more of like a certain corner of culture, right?

~ Okay.

~ Bikers, for instance.

~ Okay.

maybe, you know, like, you know, you kind of had an idea of who had tattoos, right?

You could picture that.


Picture that.

And it began, and that’s where who had, it would almost be a stereotype.


To where?

If I saw a person with tattoos, it’s like that, that, that, it’s a.

It’s a musician or?


Biker musician or what was the other one?

I don’t know.

I did.

But yeah, okay.

But they probably weren’t a teacher.

They probably weren’t a pastor.


They probably weren’t an accountant, right?


I hear where you’re going from.




I want to say right along the same arc of when I was getting my tattoos, like it just became, I think it seemed like I knew more people who had tattoos that didn’t, like it just kind of tipped over to where it seemed like it was more popular to have them than not.


That’s the same timeframe.

I saw like some of the tattoo artists that I would go to they just become insanely busy saw a lot more tattoo artists entering the The field so to speak.

Oh wow The the guy that I go to he would talk about it, you know in the sense of like just the flood of incoming Talent, you know, he he was kind of old school and kind of harping on they don’t have you know What it takes they need the you know to go through the hard knock whatever, you know, he that’s kind of his take But the market was just supporting anyone could pop up a tattoo shop and you know that kind of thing sure And you just say that’s just that’s not how it’s meant to be you know, yeah So yeah, I definitely see that seen like a cultural shift to where yeah, like It’s culturally acceptable for just about any walk of life to have a tattoo and you just think about you know There’s lots of pastures you see on YouTube, you know, they have tattoos.

There’s you know worship leaders there Teachers there, you know, it’s like there’s no rules anymore really except maybe super You know white collar like you know that might not be quite at the same level of accepting of it I got you I’m not in that world, but I definitely don’t see The people I know in those You know job areas.

I don’t see them having tattoos.

I think it’s more taboo over there But like it certainly has seeped into just about everywhere else I can imagine does that make sense?

Yeah, I know it’s no doubt and I think it’s interesting from my observation sometimes.

It’s like you may not I think they have become in some ways.

It’s There’s a difference between what I would call a discreet tattoo and a you know straightforward tattoo, if I make, you know what I’m saying?

Like yours would be on the outside of your arm, you know, all the way down towards your wrist type thing.


Whereas a lot of times what I’ll see is, you know, about those ones that catch you off guard or something, you know, you are in church and you suddenly, you know, there’s a, you know, a worship leader who suddenly raises their arm and you see, you know, underneath their arm right there at the edge of their, you know, it’s like, oh, okay, you know, and it kind of to surprise you in some ways maybe, you know, depending on, but it, yeah.

That’s a little bigger.

But yeah, even that one, you know, your other kind of creeps around, but it’s just, that’s kind of interesting because I think there’s almost like that.

I don’t know, I wouldn’t know whether that was part of the rules dynamic, but yet there’s that part of it that says, okay, I want to get a tattoo, but I don’t necessarily want it out for everyone to see type thing.

~ That’s kinda interesting.

~ But that’s also kind of the, often I’ll see that be the starting pattern, right?

Like I don’t know about my tattoo person, but I would like to have one, right?

~ I gotcha.

~ So you get a discrete one and it means something to you and over time, you know, it certainly was in my case and I think a lot of people is like, yeah, I’m a tattoo person now.

~ Okay.

~ You know what I mean?

~ Sure.

There’s a difference between Yeah, there’s a difference between being a tattoo person and not and when I say tattooed person It’s like you no longer care about them being seen you’re not you know It’s not that there’s no effort to be discreet necessarily sure and I would say that’s definitely the case for me sure Carried anymore about that.

Yeah, almost the opposite like there’s a lot of everywhere.

You know, oh, yeah Yeah, and is that more?

Yeah Kind of tying back to what you said earlier.

They really are Significant to me and I enjoy that significance Kind of being represented To me personally and you know everyone’s a while I get to talk about them And I enjoy talking about them what they mean and stuff and sure because they Every one of mine means quite a bit Yeah with the exception of maybe one But even that one it’s – No one.

~ No, my arrow on my hand.

~ Oh, okay.

~ Now when I got in Cancun, Mexico.

~ Okay.

~ Yeah, on a work trip.

~ Was that a bat or something?

No, I’m just kidding, you say you can’t do that.

~ Sounds like a right, yeah, exactly.

~ Not a work trip, it’s like, I lost a bat and had to get an arrow tattoo.

~ No, that was, you know, by the time I got this one, I was definitely a tattoo person, so, and they said, hey, a few of us are gonna go off the resort and get some tattoos, and I was like, yep, that sounds like a fun memory, you know what I mean?

~ Okay, yeah.

And it was, it is, I love, in the arrow.

I mean, it’s, there’s a few tattoos that I’m not necessarily proud of because of how they look.

Like they don’t quite have the quality that I would, you know what I mean?

Okay, sure.

And that’s definitely one.

It’s kind of just big, blocky, smearing.


You know what I mean?

You can tell it’s just.



I got you.

Can you tell what I mean?


It’s just kind of.



Yeah, depending on how you.




Depending on how you hold your hand, it can almost look crooked.

Yeah, you don’t want that.

You want to straight it.

So I can understand how your hand was positioned when it was done.

And when you put it in that position, it’s perfectly straight.

So nice job tattoo artist.

That’s a nature of tattoo.

That’s a nature of tattoo.

That too is actually is either A, you’ve got to have tattoo artists who cares about what it looks like for mollingles.

So they’ll kind of position it, stretch your skin.

Oh wow, okay.

Or B, you just say, I don’t care how it looks when I put my arm on, but it’s going to get distorted.

That’s fine.

and there’s definitely some, like my guitar neck, right?

On my arm, I’m gonna do this.

It also becomes crooked, right?

~ Oh yeah, sure, yep, yep.

~ Which you don’t want a guitar neck to be crooked, just like you don’t want arrows to be crooked, but you know.

~ Sure, and it makes perfect sense the minute you put your arm out, like you would have had that, the artist would have used that canvas.

Yeah, it makes sense that it’s perfectly straight.

That’s interesting to think about.

~ Yeah.

So, and it’s kind of interesting when you think about that.

When you say, “Now I’m a tattoo person, I want them everywhere,” when you see somebody that has some everywhere, does that make you think that that person has that much significant to all of them?

Or would you say there’s a point– – Yeah.

~ Yeah.

You would say there’s a point– – I’d say there’s a point where I just like tattoos, let’s get cool art.

~ Okay.

And actually everyone’s different.

~ Yeah, that’s why I was just like, yeah.

~ You can’t, what is everyone’s reason for a beard?

Well, it’s one of these three reasons.

No, it’s like everyone can have their own unique thing.

And like I know some people who have a lot of tattoos and they all represent a certain style.

~ Sure.

~ And it just has a certain artistic look.

And in my mind, it kind of aligns with my, kind of understanding how they’re kind of an artsy person.

You know what I mean?

~ Sure.

I don’t know the stories behind everyone’s tattoos.

So that’s part of it too, is like everyone might have different significance or none.

~ Sure.

~ Right, like I know a lot of people who go to the artist and say do something cool.

You know, take your pick basically.

~ Okay.

~ ‘Cause they trust artists enough to have a relationship.

They’re, they’ve gotten past that in my tattoo person.

Right, like all those hurdles to where it’s like, yeah, let’s just get something cool this time.

You know, you pick.

~ Okay.

~ You know?

~ Yeah.

some, it’s not like they just start.

~ Yeah, it’s like you’ll get a rendering of something.

~ Right, but there are people just like, just go.

Like people will do that and I think that’s cool.

I think I would do that with my one guy that I’ve been going to for years.

~ Really?

~ But I don’t think that would be my next one and I can’t imagine when the next one, it would be that.

‘Cause I can’t even get into him anymore, so.

~ Really?

~ Yeah, well he’s in Charlotte and the last time I tried a book appointment, it was a year out.

and I had to put like a $200 deposit down and I’m like $200 to wait a year.

So I said no.

~ Wow.

~ Yeah, I haven’t got one since and I’m sad about it.

~ So you’re actually kind of itching to get another 10 too.


Do you even know what it is?

~ Ish.

~ Ish.

~ So I got the sword of the spirit on my forearm.

~ Okay, yep.

~ And I would like to add some more of the armor of God.

~ Oh neat.

capacities, even if it’s just kind of like background, like maybe you see helmet through the leaves of the roses or something.


That kind of thing.


Put a belt of truth on your guitar.



Draped it or it’s the guitar strap also a belt of truth.

There you go.









That’s neat that, I mean, he’s that book.


I mean, I’m really neat.

I’m sorry for you.

in all the context.

Yeah, he works in Charlotte, they call it Uptown, not downtown, right?


So, he works in Uptown.

I mean, he’s right in the thick of Charlotte, and he tattoos like Caroline Panthers’ players and stuff like that.

Oh, wow.


So, it’s like getting into him is pretty hard.


But he’s great, and I feel like we’re friends.

Like, we get along great.

We have, you know, we spent many hours with him, both me and Megan, right?


a couple of times we went to Charlotte together, kind of a road trip together and got tattoos.

~ Nice.

~ So would you say you and Megan were both tattoo people at the same time, or was that a transition?

Did you initiate that process, or did she initiate that process as far as the two?

I don’t know you, I’ve known you that long to know who’s getting first type stuff.

The first tattoo I got was the first tattoo she got, which was our wedding rings.

~ Oh, okay.

~ So we got a little cross like wedding ring tattoo.

~ Okay.

~ So we both went and got that together.

~ Oh, neat.

~ Yeah, and that kind of kicked it off for both of us, honestly.

~ Yeah.

~ I have more than she does, ’cause you know, I don’t know, just got some quicker and then she wanted it some more.

And then once we, now we kind of go together.

~ Oh, wow.

But yeah.

So that’s.



So that’s.



It’s pretty even that.



Yeah, no, that’s why I was curious as far as so quite often you’ll go at the same time.


And then you’ll just spend a day.



Yeah, hanging out with tattoo artists.

Cool, cool.


Yeah, it’s kind of cool.

It’s kind of a fun experience.

I mean, it’s painful.


There’s some people.



This really loves company.


There’s some people who act like tattoos don’t hurt and I’m just like, “You’re full of garbage.

” Oh yeah.

or you know, again, everyone’s different.

So maybe it really doesn’t hurt some people, but I think some people just act tough.

I, they, they are very uncomfortable.

I do not enjoy the process.

~ Oh, wow.

~ Yeah.

So conversation is almost necessary to just try and keep your brain occupied.

~ Oh, wow.


~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ So you take Megan along as more as a support.

~ That’s right.

~ Yeah.

~ More support, yeah.

~ Yeah, yeah.

But yeah, our first, that too was our wedding rings, which obviously the significance there is pretty significant.

~ Yeah.

~ Let’s see.

~ Yeah, it was actually hard to find people who would do wedding rings at that time.

We went to a few shops and they’re like, yeah, we don’t do those because people regret them later.

~ Really?

~ Yeah, it’s like, well, yeah, ’cause the Vorshade and stuff like that.

~ Okay.

~ And we’re, you know, we were both like, well, we’re gonna have these rest of our life because then we’re gonna be together the rest of our lives.

So this is actually perfect.

But you’re saying the reason you don’t wanna do is exactly why.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah, it’s like, so we did find something.

And then the other thing too is a lot of times they would say they wouldn’t go all the way around the front because it would just fall out from calluses.

Like, you know, there’s something about your skin on rough parts of your body that tattoos won’t stay.

They call it falling out, yeah.

~ Oh, okay.

~ But did, but you still wanted to go all the way around?

~ We both got them all the way around.

And the thing is, ours didn’t fall out, but they do get very, I mean you see it, it’s like kind of model looking.


It’s not as- I just see the lines more so.



Well, no, that’s all it is.

Yeah, it’s just the lines.

But yeah, you can see that they’re kind of broken up a little bit.



But it goes all the way around for both of us.


We did find someone in.

For being the first tattoo, I mean, pain level, I’d say it was for all my tattoos as one of the more painful ones.

The first one.

~ Yeah, certain areas of skin, of course, are gonna be more than that.

~ Especially when you got in this kind of web, the side.

~ Oh wow.

~ Yeah, I don’t know.

~ Oh, that wasn’t pleasant.

~ That wasn’t really unpleasant.

And it felt like, oh, this would be quick.

It felt like it was ours.

~ Oh wow.

~ ‘Cause it was that painful.

~ Yeah.

~ It really wasn’t.

It was probably 30 minutes, I don’t know, 40.

~ Okay.

~ Yeah.

Who went first, you were– – Me, yeah.

~ Okay.

And then she went and she acted tougher than I did.

So that’s pretty typical.

~ So did you have a wedding ring also still?

~ Ah, somewhere.

I’ve worn it since I got this and Megan hasn’t either.

~ Okay.

~ Part of the reason we got it is ’cause Megan is a hair stylist and she was getting reactions to the white gold with the shampoos and stuff she was using.

~ Oh really?

~ It started to cause rash under her ring and stuff.

And she really loves her ring.

It’s a beautiful ring, but it’s just like, became one of those work liability things.

~ Okay.

~ So we’re like, well, this allows us to always wear wedding rings no matter what.

It’s like we’re going to have to take it out.

That guys have to take them off and they go work out or go swimming, whatever it is.

We don’t take ours off.

They’re always on.

~ Yeah, yeah.

~ It’s pretty cool in that way.

As far as commitment goes, and it’s a very great symbol of that to me.

And again, I wanted to go all the way around ’cause that’s the symbol of a ring, right?

It’s like that kind of universal thing.

So like that combined with it being permanently in my skin, it’s just like a cool, you know?

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ No, that’s neat.

~ Yeah.

~ So that was good.

And then the second one I got was very significant as well.

It’s just one of my left arm.

I think that’s my second one.

~ You think so?

~ I’m trying to remember.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah, that’s my second one.

And that’s the first one with my guy.

The first one was in the rings weren’t with him.

~ Okay, the guy in Charlotte.

~ He wasn’t in Charlotte, he wasn’t Wilmington.

~ Oh, okay.

~ By the way, yeah.

~ Okay.

~ Yeah.

~ So when you met him, he was in Wilmington, or when you, yeah, and then he’s since moved to Charlotte.

~ Yeah, it was real sad.

~ Yeah, huh.

So in the context of combining tattoos or that kind of thing, how many different tattoos would you say you have?

In other words, times that you’ve sent.

~ Yeah, sessions.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 10, 11, 11, yeah, I counted that one.

~ Okay.

~ At least 11, yeah.

~ So your next one will be your 12th, what do they get, the 12 stones?

The, you’ll be your altar tattoo type.

You’ll complete the for all the– – Nice.

~ No, neat.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

So back to Beards transition back to Beards.

~ Well, I’ll do one more.

As far as the tattoo, I’m curious as far as, if in those 11 tattoos, what would you say, if you can, what would be the primary significance?

What would be the reminders that in general, they offer, you follow me?

If you don’t, I’m not asking you to share something – No, completely personal or whatever.

~ Happy to share.

~ So yes, I’ll try and go and chronology.

~ Granted, the first one was basically– – Yeah, that one’s pretty self-explanatory, right?

~ Yeah.

~ Being married to Megan and just that significance of that relationship.

~ Yeah, and it was just, I mean, it’s so cool that we did it together.

Like, one thing if one of us did it, but just doing it together was, that’s a significant thing in and of itself.

~ Sure.

I thought that was my second.

This was actually my second one.

It’s an ampersand on my arm.

And next to it is, it’s an act, if you don’t want ampersand as you’re just gonna have to Google it, but it’s the and sign, right?

This quickly and sign.

And next to it has AMP semi-colon.

~ Right.

~ And it’s just, it’s very nerdy.

~ Okay.

~ So this one probably has the least significance, except that it represents kind of the two sides of my personality there, like the creative side and the analytical side.

So the ampersand represents graphic design kind of thing ’cause that’s right, you know, that was my career for a long time.

~ Sure.

~ And then AMP semi colon is actually the HTML code for an ampersand.

~ Okay, I do.

~ So in order to put an ampersand on a webpage, you have to type ampersand ampersand, ampersand, literally that to get just that output on the page.

~ I gotcha.

It’s just kind of like this meta concept of like, I don’t know.

This graphic artistic versus this code.



And almost the redundant nature of this looping of this ampersand, you need an ampersand to make an ampersand.

I don’t know.

I just like.

I got you.


That’s the complexity of who you are.





There’s more to this than meets the eye.

You might see the script.

~ Right.

~ Descripted Justin, but then you might also catch that artistic free flow.

~ I mean, for what it’s worth, you’re giving it way more beauty and thought than I probably ever did, but yeah.

~ Yeah, okay.

~ But it represents that complexity of who Justin is.

~ Yes, kind of the duality.

~ Sure.

~ The polarized nature of who I am.

~ Yes, okay.

~ Yeah.

~ And then the next one would be this one on my left arm, which is a picture of a rose inside of a, like a moonshine bottle.

~ Oh, I see the tracex is there.

~ Yep, and then it’s got ribbon wrapping around it and on the written is written, I don’t have time to maintain these regrets.

~ Okay.

~ And that’s lyrics from the song, “How Jesus Loves Me.

” – You and me.

~ No, that’s the old one.

What’s the song called?

It’s like, “Loves Like a Hurricane.

” – That’s Rich Mullins, right?

~ No.

~ No, it’s Mark McMullen.

Mark Millen, close.

~ Okay.

~ Two beer misses.

~ I don’t have time to make any days regrets.

~ Yeah.

~ That’s all right.

You’re the music guy.

(laughs) – And then at the very bottom, it’s got my life-verse reference Romans 828.

~ Okay.

~ And it’s kind of a tribute to the guy that was my mentor, who I grew up around, and he ended up dying from addiction.

And so, it kind of represents the moonshine bottle kind of cracked, but there’s a rose growing out of it.

Just the representation of beauty from ashes and how, you know, and I don’t have time to maintain these regrets as this idea that we are not meant to dwell in the past and who we were, but move forward and bloom into what we’re supposed to be kind of thing.

~ Sure.

~ In Romans eight, 20 years, all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.

And it’s really about what that represents.

Like even moonshine bottles can represent, you know, turn into something that’s beautiful and can represent his purpose.

~ Sure.

~ Yeah, neat.

~ Yeah.

~ So this one I actually drew up myself, – Oh wow.

~ My own version.

~ You did complete with the moonshine bottle?

~ Yeah.

~ Oh wow.

~ Yeah, and it, you know, that, and then he took it and made it his own style based on my drawing, but it was pretty much that.

And this was actually inspired from my friend Joel when instead he had a very similar one as the moonshine bottle, but slightly different, also a flower coming up, but kind of a slightly different, kind of a beach scene in the background, stuff like that.

But so it was also kind of a nod to him.

He’s kind of like a brother to me.

So it’s kind of like solidarity with him.

That’s his dad that died.

~ Yeah.

~ It’s kind of a tribute too.

So yeah, yeah, that one’s very significant for, you know, there’s a lot of reasons.

It’s got a lot of meaning wrapped into it.

~ I know that.


~ Yeah.

That one hurt ’cause it got up near the armpit and that’s a bad place.

~ That’s a tender spot.

~ It is, yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ So what did you do when it really hurts?

What do you do at that point?

~ You just flinch.

~ You just grit your teeth or?

~ Yeah, I mean, you’ll get a headache if you grit your teeth the whole time.

It’s ours, you know?

~ I got you, yeah, yeah.

~ I don’t know, yeah.

It’s just, it’s like just try not to think about it.

~ Okay.

~ So usually that’s when I’m trying to think about question for the artist or something.

~ Okay, so that’s how you get to be such good friends So quickly, it’s like– – Yeah, and tattoo artists are kind of like– – I didn’t do it, really, I didn’t do it.

Stop, I’ll tell you anything.

~ Exactly.

Yeah, they know everything.


No, Megan always talks about how her chair’s kind of like a counselor’s chair, whatever.

Like she ends up having a lot of intermittent conversations with her clientele.

I think tattoo artists is probably very similar ’cause she’s stuck in the same place for hours.

And they, of course, learn how to, I mean, their primary job is doing the work, but their secondary job is like keeping you engaged or whatever, not hating, coming to that.

~ Kind of like Dennis and chiropractors, you know.

~ Sure, yeah.

~ They asked those questions.

~ Yeah, they kind of know how to engage.

~ Get your mind, yeah.

Someplace else.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah, exactly.

~ Nate, Nate.

~ So he’s pretty good at that.

Yeah, but I mean, I can go on.

~ No, and what’s the one with the North Star type thing?

like a galaxy type.

No up in the back.

No, no.

So it’s all connected.

Oh, there’s a, oh yeah.

Like a Saturn in the back.


And it wraps around to the front.

It’s just like some galaxies and some stars and then there’s a constellation.


With the crown, the constellation of the crown in there.



And it just represents like the grandeur of the universe and the crown represents basically Jesus being kind of the Lord of it all.

And the creator of the cosmos and everything in between.




So it’s interesting.

Some of your tattoos, you can’t even see.



Like the sat in the back.

You don’t see Saturn.


I get compliments on that quite a bit, but I’m like, yeah, but it does look cool.

(laughing) – It’s a little bit sad because that’s a cool one.

~ Yeah, it is a cool one.

Yeah, and then you’re lying at Judah there.

~ Yeah, I think this is mostly Azlin.

~ Is it Azlin?

~ Okay.

~ But both.

Honestly, it’s both.

~ I gotcha.

~ ‘Cause Azlin’s kind of, right, a representation of Jesus, right?

~ Sure.

~ Yeah.

So it’s kind of that, but that was an inspiration.

This is probably my favorite one.

~ Okay.

it’s so bold and also very good.

Like he did a really good job of just making it, although he can use a touch up to make it pop again, but yeah, it’s very realistic.

And just like the look on his face, it’s just very like serene, but not like there’s a quote about Aslan, he’s, is he safe?

No, he’s not safe, but he’s good.


And that’s like to me, that’s the look he’s got.


And it’s very happy with that.

And then I have a quote here from the book called and saying, “You would not have called to me if I had not been calling to you.

” And it’s kind of got this filigree around it and stuff that kind of ties into the lion.


So yeah.

And that’s a quote from the book, but also it’s very theological, right?


So yeah, that one’s a, that one maybe my favorite.

That’s your favorite.


But they’re all my favorites.


It’s like my children.

So if I may ask what, when you got your lion, what was the significance?

What did Megan do at that time?

Was that a shared one or something?

Yeah, that’s when she got her blue shoulder tattoo.


And it looks like China, like on an old plate.


Oh, OK.

For her, the significant– Not the country.



Not China or China or whatever.

No, China though, like the plates that’s over.

I gotcha.

Yeah, it kind of has that blue.

Oh, there’s a certain, it’s a name for that blue color, but like that’s on the old China.

And for her, it’s kind of like a tribute to her grandma and she had some of that China and stuff.

And yeah, so it’s kind of that.



Appreciate you sharing.



the beard joke real quick or not real quick.


Well, you can make a beard joke.

Oh, no, no, I just if you know, I was going to ask you, do you plan on keeping the beard the rest of your life?

Is this the permanent mark?

I don’t know.


I wouldn’t be surprised.

Yeah, but I I’ve thought about it.

Like you say, there definitely, I think it would definitely come down to a significant circumstance for me to shave it, you know, type thing because it was just, you know, yeah, but yeah, this is probably here for a good while.

I think, yeah.

What would make you say, yeah, it’s time to go.

Is there a particular thing in your mind that says, yeah, that would warrant being done?

Like, I’m saying, if, you know, like a skin cancer type or something, you know, where, you know, had to be removed for a health standpoint, you know, or– – You wouldn’t be that stubborn.

You’re like, “Man, I’m keeping it.

” – No, no, definitely not.

We’re on the same scale if Chris said it’s gotta go.

That would be, that could be a help, no.

But seriously, yeah, that would, yeah, I can’t think of anything, you know, right now.

It’s not, I guess I don’t see it as necessarily a whimsical thing to wear.


I see.

There’s no whimsy in your beard.

There might be a mouse, but no whimsy.


But yeah, there’s a few that kind of fly off their whimsical.



That’s, that’s, that’s part of it too.

That’s the whimsy.

That’s the whimsy.

I’m sorry to break it to you.



When the, when the, when the barber took out, when it trimmed it that last time.

He called it the, I cut some of the wolfie out.

He called it wolfie.


So that’s the whimsie went with the wolfie.

Yeah, they kinda went hand in hand, yeah.


But you don’t wanna lose the wolfiness.

Nah, nah, I’d like to say I think that’s, you know, it is kinda like that, I don’t like.

~ Excuse me, like a water.

~ I know, I’m good, now I’m good, I apologize.

It is kinda like that your Aslan tattoo to a certain degree.

I’m not a, I’m not a, you know, I guess for me a beard is a beard from my perspective, you know, and it’s like, if it’s just a half inch long uniformed haircut on your face, you know?

~ It’s not a beard, this is a beard.

(laughing) – Kinda like that, but not, it’s like, yeah, There’s something there that says, okay, this is unique.

And I think that’s part of the reason for growing it.

It’s like, you know, I think, I think for me, my beard is a part of my uniqueness as I’ve been created, you know, in that process.

And I think, you know, definitely having that.

Sorry, I’m not crying, I’m not crying.

~ You can cry, it’s all right.

~ I can, I can.

But I think it was part of that early uniqueness that basically said, okay, this is my connection to Lizzie and Lizzie and I have.

And then it’s just kinda grown into, you know, here again, that uniqueness that says, okay, this is one of a kind.

~ Yeah, yeah, for sure, yeah.

~ Yeah, there’s many beards, but only one leg marks.

Yeah, I– – Exactly.

~ Yeah, I’ve never been able to grow a legit beard because it’s just too patchy.

So what ends up happening is I can grow and mean neck beard if you want to.

~ Oh yeah.

~ Oh yeah, I could have a nice thick neck beard.

(laughing) But like the extent of where the hair grows kind of stopped right at the chin strap kind of thing.

So I’m just not a fan of that look.

~ Yeah, yeah.

~ But there are many guys who grow beers like that.

And I’m not saying that’s not good for them.

saying I don’t prefer it on myself.

But I’ve always wanted like to be able to do like the legit cheek filled beard, you know, that kind of thing.

Yeah, it’s just, yeah, it doesn’t work out for me.

That’s okay.

I’m glad that you have.


You can have it for the rest of us.



No, and I, you know, it’s funny because I’ll recognize there was such a era in my life, you know, kind of Growing up clean shaven to where I can recognize, you know, it was a step at first But I think you know like many cases, you know when you Develop a significance or when something takes on a significance You know and that can be something much greater than a beard or you know even a tattoo You know when something takes on a significance Yeah.

You know, that’s, that’s when I think it becomes important and it, it’s part, kind of becomes part of who we are.

It folds into your identity.





That’s, that’s a good way to put it.

That’s definitely how I feel about my tattoos as well.

Where it’s not distinct for me.

It is me, you know.


And I think, you know, as I want to broaden it even to a certain degree, I think that’s what jewelry can be.


for ladies.

~ Well, speaking of hair, ’cause you’re not a beard, but Megan definitely has talked about that a lot, with being a hairstylist, how for some women it is, it is them, right?

Like it is their identity, this particular hairstyle, or just having it be nice is just part of, yeah, it’s an identity thing.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ And I was thinking about that in the context of, I think we can all have different things that we kind of use to gain our identity from.

~ Yeah.

~ And I think, you know, those can be good things.

~ Yeah.

~ Those reminders of who I am or that ability to recognize my uniqueness.

~ They can also be bad, right?

Like if we’re gonna come back to the polarizing, yeah, right?

~ No, I hear.

~ There are some things that become part of identity that actually are unfortunate, right?

~ Sure.

~ Like that we, you know, and again, this coming back to conversations I have with Megan, where sometimes if the haircut’s not quite perfect, it can become like a devastating few weeks for that person.

~ Oh wow, sure.

~ So which I totally get, I really do, I don’t like about haircut either.

~ Yeah.

~ And just like when you got, you know, trim on your beard, it’s like, you know, there’s gonna be a few weeks for you, just don’t quite feel myself, you know?

~ I hear you.

~ And I think that’s okay, but as I think there’s some danger and like you don’t cease to be you because your hair looks a little different than normal or your beard, you know, got contoured.

~ Or the things we get our identity from.

~ Yeah, yeah.

~ To where if my job or a certain bank statement level, you know, number, if that’s where my identity is, and suddenly that changes dramatically, my job or my account takes a hit or something.

You know, that can be significant.

And yeah.

~ Very true.

Yeah, so there can be some negative aspects to that, of course.

I think even tattoos, like, you know, like I said, now I’m a tattoo person.

I think that can be a dangerous identity, right?

Like, and that’s not my goal at all.

But for me, one of the things I do love about tattoos is that they are permanent and they are literally a part of me now.

Like they are me, you know, like you can’t detach them without, you know, significant laser efforts, you know, that kind of thing.

Um, and I, I enjoy that about them.

I enjoy that.

Like once they’re on, I’m committed to you me, just of our life, you know, this is, and, uh, so far I have no regrets.

Like I said, there’s a couple that aren’t my favorite looking, but they were still represent significance, you know what I mean?

~ Yeah, yeah, yeah.

~ So it’s, yeah, I don’t have any regrets about any of them.

And you were talking about stigmas, right, with beards and stuff.

And I think that’s part of going back to the decline of or increase in popularity is where I can honestly say, I don’t remember getting, or maybe I’m just not observing it enough, but I don’t feel like I get any kind of flack for having tattoos.

~ Oh, really?

They’re just common enough now to where you’re not shocked when you see someone up on the stage in church with a tattoo.

It’s almost like, “Well, yeah, it’s not a shock thing anymore.

” And I work from home, so from a work perspective, it’s not weird.

I don’t know.

It’s just interesting.

I can’t recall ever feeling shunned or.



you know, in fact, I really, really enjoy talking to people who are much older than me.

Like veterans, that kind of, I don’t know, like, I just, I really enjoy engaging with that generation and I don’t know why, but I just do and I feel like I always have really engaging conversations with that generation.

I would think would be the one to kind of, does that make sense?


And so to me, it kind of speaks to, it’s perception is not the same thing as reality.

So if you, you know, if you act like a shady person, you act kind of closed off or whatever, you might get some perceptions.

That’s not how I usually enter relationships or rooms or whatever.

I kind of try and keep my eyebrows lifted and and engage people.

And that’s just kind of my personality.

I enjoy that, you know, like kind of having that engaging personality.

And I’ve found that I assume because of that, I never kind of have experienced that stigma that I assumed would just come part of it.

Does that make sense at that?

I assumed it was just part of the package deal ’cause you know, you hear lots of stories about, well, they had tattoos so clearly they’re, you know, shading or whatever.

~ No, I gotcha.

~ I feel like that’s kind of maybe died up or maybe because of, like I said, I don’t know if I can disassociate from who I am to say that’s part of why I don’t experience it.

Maybe it still really is a thing and I don’t wanna speak for everyone.

~ Yeah, it’s interesting you bring it ’cause I think of different businesses that I’ve been in, not me personally, but you know, like stores, like Costco or something like that.

And occasionally you’ll see a person who has a sleeve, or a piece of cloth, you know, partially over their tattoo.

it makes me wonder is that business basically saying, yeah, we’re not a proponent of that, or is it something that that person has had tattooed on there that could be offensive, you know, based on the different images that can be put on the skin, you know, that’s kind of, whenever I see that, it does make me wonder, okay, is this a business?

~ That’s true, I mean, all of my tattoos are very benign and there’s nothing offensive for any walk of life.

~ Right, exactly, exactly.

But you probably aren’t offended by guitars or roses or lions or planets.

~ Yeah.

And did you, I thought you, you’ve definitely got, “Oh no, it wasn’t you.

It was another worship leader that I know who had gotten to good discussions with a professor.

A guy I know that you went to Liberty.

He would definitely get into arguments with professors about biblical significance or the interpretation of tattoos being okay.

And I had you mixed up with that person here.

~ That would be a very interesting discussion, but I haven’t really had that much before.

~ You’ve never had anybody say.

~ My dad, definitely, and my mom, were definitely not proponents of it.

And I had at least one pretty decent conversation with my dad about it and just kind of explain some of the meanings of them.

And I said, whether you, you know, it was kind of like, whether you accept that they’re acceptable in God’s eyes or not, like you have to understand the meaning of them and what they mean to me in terms of me and God, you know, like, and I think that really shifted things for him in the sense of like, it’s not just, um, putting, you know, blasphemous ink all over your body, but there’s something more to it and it seemed for him to kind of make a difference.

But that doesn’t mean he has come around to where he thinks they’re okay.

~ He’s not attached to you.

~ I think he’s seen.

~ Yeah, yeah.

I’m working on it.

~ Here you are.

~ No, no, I don’t think that he’ll have Ruby, but I think he’s definitely come to accept that they are me.

~ Sure.

~ Right, he says they’re not going away and you know, that kind of thing.

And yeah, it’s not really a topic of discussion hardly anymore.

~ I understand.

~ For a while there, definitely was.

~ I bought.

~ You know, did you get any more?

(laughing) You know, kind of thing.

Kind of like your dad, and when you’re gonna shave that thing, kind of that same feeling.

~ Yeah, that same feeling.

~ Yeah, exactly.

~ Yeah.

Well, me and me.

Well, thanks for sharing, just– – You know what I think you need to do, Mark?

I think you need to get tattoo of a beard.

~ Oh, you think so?

(laughing) I think I’m good.

I think I’m good.

Maybe I’ll get a tattoo of a beard.

~ You could have your beard tattooed on.

~ Oh yeah.

~ That one you want that’s up in.

~ Yeah, I don’t know if I can get the, yeah that’s right.

~ Kind of like the Azlian, the Azlian, the Azlian, Maine type book.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ But I wouldn’t be able to have any of the whimsy’s flying.

~ Yeah, they’d be pretty stationary.

It would only be the difference between your smile or your frown that would make them look like it.

Had some flow or whimsy to it.

But yeah.

~ Yeah, would you ever do a tattoo on your face?

~ That’s a good question.

~ Yeah.

~ So I can’t envision the desire to have one on my face.

Right, like the front.

~ Yeah.

~ But definitely like on my neck or you know, different things.

~ Below your ear type neck.

~ Yeah, or like really anywhere on my neck.

But I wouldn’t want the full neck.

Like you see it, there’s a lot of tattoo artists that they just go all the way right up to here.

~ Yeah, like right under the– – Like a turtleneck.

~ Yeah, exactly.

and not fan of that look.

But as far as significance goes, something’s poking out up there on your neck or something.

The one that always comes in mind when people ask me is like a sword, right?

Like if a sword came down across your chest and up on your neck or something like that.

Or I’ve seen like cool roses, that kind of thing.

So there’s two sizes of this equation.

The first is would I?


Would Megan allow it?

~ Would you do it?

You would do a face tattoo?

~ Well, Nick, again, I don’t know.

~ Oh, not face.

Anything, basically, from the chin to the forehead.

~ I don’t think so, but I also am not saying– – You’re not getting a teardrop anytime soon.

~ Right.

~ I think that had to kill someone for it.

Maybe if I kill someone.

~ Okay.

(laughs) – Isn’t that a contact?

~ I’m not rolling it out.

(laughs) – No, I think that’s generally my attitude towards it is I wouldn’t roll it out.

I have no desire to do it, but I also wouldn’t if the right symbol symbolism was there.


But I can’t imagine the right symbolism.

So no, I wouldn’t.

Does that make sense?


Yeah, I was just curious.

But to me, it’s not like a thing.

There’s not an align there that’s drawn.

But also it is very significant to have one on your face.

So I would want it to be as significant as it can be.

And again, I just can’t really picture that making sense.

~ Yeah.

~ That makes sense.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ Also Megan wouldn’t let me, so it’s going to be a point.

~ That’s fair enough.

~ Yeah.

~ Yeah.

~ No, I’m just curious, ’cause I mean, I think there is that part of it that is different about a person who, you know, because I think there is that, from a psychological standpoint, I think, you know, that tattooing out in the face is an interesting dynamic.

~ Yes, yeah.

~ That’s why I was gonna, yeah.

~ Yeah, it’s just curious what your perspective was on that.

Again, if I did it, it would have to be supremely symbolic to the where Mark, if you saw it, you’d be like, “I know why he has that.

” – I gotcha.

~ And almost like, you know what I’m saying?

~ Yeah.

~ So it wouldn’t just be– – He got that because he wanted to grow a beard and could just now understand.

~ Exactly, exactly.

It makes perfect sense.

~ Just trying to keep up with my favorite bearded guy.

(laughing) – Well, thanks for sharing.

~ Yeah, thank you for sharing.

~ And then an interesting little reflection here.

And yeah, so being mindful of where our identity is, knowing that our first and foremost, our identity is in Christ.

And yet there are a lot of things that can remind us of that journey and draw us in like those, like those altars that God’s faithfulness or a perspective and yeah.

~ Yeah, and sometimes our identity in Christ is multifaceted and sometimes it has whimsy hairs that fly out.

You know, like there are parts of our personality that are also reflect him in ourselves that are unique to us and for you, it’s your beard and for me, it’s the tattoos.

And I think, but yeah, but like you said, also that danger of letting it become something else.

~ Yes.

Don’t let your beard become an idol, Mark.

~ That’s right.

That’s for sure.

That’s how we see it.