A grateful lepper at your feet…

Jesus, friend of sinners. We have strayed so far away. We cut people down in Your name, but the sword was never ours to swing…The world is on their way to you, but they are tripping over me…Open our eyes to the world at the end without pointing fingers…Help us to remember we are all the least of these…Nobody knows what we’re for, only what we’re against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs, crossed over the lines and loved like You did? You loved every lost cause. You reached for the outcast, for the lepper and the lame. I was the lepper and the lost cause. I’m a grateful lepper at your feet.

Today is my 46th birthday. I just met Adam, whose barcode tattoo design is his clean date, above his mom’s initials in artistic formation. She died of alcoholism.

Adam's clean date in binary art, punctuated by the loss of his mom to the disease of addiction (her initials as a star point to his exclamation).
ADAM’S EXCLAMATION: Adam’s clean date in binary art, punctuated by the loss of his mom to the disease of addiction (her initials as a star point to his exclamation).

I’ve been in recovery since December 2009. I am on a cruise ship in Bermuda, celebrating my mother’s life, among other things. She was a master cruiser who went on over 70 cruises all over the world. That was her dance…

She also died last year at 71 from untreated alcoholism.

My first tattoo after her death has her Jerusalem cross, which I wore for the first year of mourning, mounted on a butterfly. Mom and I both shared a love of butterflies..

How similar our stories are…Adam, from the earth and me, Christopher Todd.

I was listening to this song by Counting Crows (meaningful lyrics above) when I looked up and saw Adam waiting for his partner. That moment, our conversation, his story, was a sign from my mom and the universe that she is smiling down on me on this birthday reminding me it is all good…better than good. Just for today.

I miss her, as horrible as it was to sometimes be with her and her disease…

I’m putting together a photo montage of tattoos and stories (I’ll post Adam’s when we are back in port.). But in a unique way, the universe opened my eyes so I could connect with Adam and share our stories. I’m crying tears of joy, sadness and gratitude.

I love you mom. I will always be your little boy…

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I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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