If you come from a large family, or have untrustworthy friends when it comes to the security of your food, you may at some point, have licked your food before walking away from it—you know, to make sure that no one would take it. If you haven’t done that, you’ve probably at least once in your life, used a sharpie to mark your plastic cup at a party, or written your initials into an article of clothing in case it gets separated from you. We mark stuff to make sure that people will know it’s ours, and not try to take it—it’s human nature. Well, it’s not just our nature; it’s God’s nature, too.
In Baptism, we say that an “indelible mark” has been made on our soul, claiming us forever as belonging to God. More precious than your chicken nuggets or your beer, your favorite sweater or anything else that belongs to you, are we to God. And while spit dries, sharpie can be scratched off (with a LOT of effort) and tags can get cut off, the mark God makes on us never comes off.
I think I learned about original sin, the indelible mark of Baptism and how smoking affects our lungs all at the same time, because in my head, our soul looks just like our lungs. Whatever our soul looks like, in Baptism, the bad smudge (original sin) comes off, the good smudge goes on, and we should generally avoid smoking so no smudges get on our lungs—that’s just good sense right there. God removes from us what doesn’t belong to Him and puts on our heart what does belong— that which makes us more perfectly human than when we started, and more Christ-like by the time we’re done.
As it says in the Letter to the Romans chapter 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Once God has claimed us for Himself, there is only one thing that can take us away from God—ourselves. Unless we freely and deliberately choose not belong to God, nothing else can take us away.