Inspirational

“Together We Serve” — How Two Strangers’ Tattoos Helped This Woman Experience God

When Michelle Torino-Barcelos and her husband went to lunch on Sunday, they never expected to encounter God. At least not in the way that they did.

“Allow me to share with y’all this beautiful story that happened today,” she wrote on Facebook. 

Michelle and her husband were having a late afternoon lunch at McAllister’s Deli when she found herself in a beautiful game of people-watching.

“I noticed a guy seated on our opposite side of the table waiting for his food,” Michelle writes, explaining that it was the gentleman’s tattoo that caught her attention. 

Scribed on his left arm were the words, “Together We Serve,” with a cross beside it. 

Together We Serve

Blown away by the simple beauty of those words, Michelle excitedly told her husband to discreetly have a look, then started on a rabbit trail of her own mind, trying to figure out the meaning.

“I told my husband, it can have double meanings. The word ‘we’ may mean as we, as a whole serving God, or ‘we’ can also mean him, together with his other half; it can be his girlfriend or his wife. That I am not so sure of.”

She didn’t have to brainstorm for long. To Michelle’s delight, a beautiful woman soon joined him at the table. Michelle was quick to update her husband after seeing that this girl ALSO had a “Together We Serve” tattoo on her arm.

“I thought it was like the sweetest thing ever that I saw from a couple, having that same kind of tattoo written on their arms! I was thinking, #‎RelationshipGoals!?” 

But what really melted Michelle’s heart, and created a real connection between her and the strangers sitting just tables away from her, was when the couple grabbed each other’s hands and prayed.

 I was like blown away! Not only by seeing how sweet they were but by just simply being bold enough in professing their faith even in public. And for me, that is really what a relationship goal must be!”

As the couple enjoyed their meal, Michelle says her eyes were still glued to them. In awe of the love they radiated for both each other and their savior, Michelle felt God trying to tell her something. She decided to approach them.

“Just to say that we were blessed and inspired by just looking at them, their tattoo, and their faith and love for God,” she explains. “And I did! I excused myself and introduce myself and my husband to them, and just tell them how happy and inspired we are looking at them.”

Michelle says she and her husband found out that the couple had just gotten married a few months back, and they both serve in the United States Army.

“Not only that they want to serve their country together, [but knowing] they also want to serve God together…that is what their tattoo really means. And that is the best #‎RelationshipGoal ever!”

Together We Serve

Michelle thanked the couple for the beautiful reminder of how God should be the center of their relationship, and how we are all called to serve selflessly.

But their interaction didn’t stop there!

The couple was overwhelmed by Michelle’s kind words, as they had not realized the impact that their tattoos and actions had had on someone else. Then they asked Michelle and her husband if they could pray for them.

“For the first time in our entire lives, never had we experienced strangers praying for us! Inside that cafe, all four of us held each others hands, bowed our heads as these [sic] beautiful couple from the US army prayed for me and my husband! They prayed that we may always be blessed, and that we may continue to be a blessing to everyone else, and that may our love for God prosper and grow just as how God’s love and grace overflows in our lives. How amazing that moment is!”

Michelle says she knows that moment was not an accident, but a divine appointment.

“God brought us together there for a reason. God always has His special way of reminding us of His great love for us.” 

Michelle’s excitement is a beautiful testimony to the love she witnessed — both that of the couple and that of God. It’s so crazy to see the incredible ways God can use a “normal” lunch to show people who He is.

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Bri Lamm
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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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