BOSTON, MA—Samuel Levenson’s life verse—and only tattoo—is Jeremiah 29:11, and with good reason. Levenson first encountered the biblical promise when his spiritual life was in a lull, his career was in a slump, and he was enduring a harsh and brutal exile in the pagan kingdom of Babylon. His only sustenance during this time of doubt, depression, and being a captive of King Nebuchadnezzar, was the clear promise in Jeremiah Chapter 29 that God had plans laid out for him—plans for a future and hope—despite his people’s obstinate rebelliousness.
“That verse kicked off a shift in my life, and it came when I was at rock bottom,” Levenson told reporters as he showed off the inked inscription of the passage in between his shoulder blades. “I was out of a job and in the middle of a rough patch with my girlfriend. I was struggling with spiritual doubt. And to top it all off, I was captured and carried into captivity by an Ancient Mesopotamian empire.”
“I’ll never, ever forget when I first read those words from Jeremiah,” he said. “I had to have a permanent symbol of the promise they held for me.”
At publishing time, Levenson was sketching a draft of his next tattoo, which will include Exodus 14:14, to commemorate the time he won his high school football district championship shortly after being miraculously saved from Pharaoh’s fast-advancing chariot army on the shores of the Red Sea.