When she first entered our home, her feet were coated with a thick, fuzzy layer of fungus that creeped up her ankles and wrapped around her lower calves. Lotus wore the same rank-smelling clothes every, single day. After all, she didn’t take showers, so what was the point in changing her clothing?

You see, the 14-year old Chinese girl had been born to a young prostitute, raised in a cramped room with her mother at the local brothel. She was completely on her own when it came to school, food, and clothing.

That’s why Lotus was incredibly independent. She could also be outrageously abrasive, often evasive and occasionally straight out deceptive. Those were moments that were entirely understandable given her background, yet which stretched the limits of my patience.

Living with Lotus caused me to meditate on one word in particular: grace. I desperately wanted to feel and extend grace to this girl, even as she pushed my every last button. Then, I stumbled upon the Chinese translation.

恩典, the word for grace, also means favor, kindness, or generosity. That’s exactly what I wanted to exhibit to Lotus – a spirit of generosity, extending kindness and favor beyond what the moment may have deserved. Because she deserved so much more.

So, as a reminder to myself in the midst of our life with Lotus, I had the words inked where I would see them daily. As a reminder not only with our surly teen, but with everyone I meet… to exhibit a spirit of generosity.

What’s the meaning behind your tattoo?

Read more about Lotus in my book, coming out April 6!