The Crowning with Thorns

“…and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head…”
“I wear this crown of thorns upon my liar’s chair…” from the song “Hurt”

My newest tattoo is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I got it on Presidents’ Day in hopes of physically shocking myself out of despair. It worked(if only temporarily, no one said the journey out of depression would be an easy uphill walk)the sharp needles forcing color into my skin and resolve into my heart. But the image is meant to remind me of the great love and compassion that surrounds me.

The Sacred Heart is a human heart but it has unique features. It has an aura of flames, indicating its holiness and supernatural power. It often carries a cross, the symbol of Christ’s sacrifice. Two other allusions to the Crucifixion are the gash in its side and the crown of thorns. The gash refers to the piercing of Jesus’ heart after his death. In an effort to ascertain his condition and/or kill him, the Roman soldier takes a spear and pushes it through Jesus’s heart. The Gospels say that blood and water flowed profusely from the wound. On the Sacred Heart, the wound is open but small, a statement on the power of Jesus over a harsh weapon. As for the crown of thorns, it encircles the Sacred Heart, the rose thorns sharp and yet not harming the heart. This again symbolizes the victory of Jesus over an instrument of torture. What was meant to be a mockery becomes a badge of honor.

The Sacred Heart is a great source of comfort to me. It reminds me that even the most negative experiences can bring about greater good, whether that is the development of my own personal strength or the salvation of an entire universe.

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