A young woman couldn’t help but watch the strangers sitting at a nearby table after reading their matching tattoos, which she first spotted on the man’s arm. The words struck her to her core, and she just couldn’t shake it or keep quiet. Finally, it was time to approach him.
Michelle Torino-Barcelos was on a lunch date with her husband, Buben, at McAlister’s Deli in San Angelo, Texas when she found herself staring at a man after he entered the restaurant. She had noticed the 3-word tattoo on his arm that sent a bold message. Suddenly, Michelle felt the urge to confront him – and now, she’s thankful she did.
When Michelle first noticed the unusual tattoo on the man’s forearm, she quietly snapped a photo of him. What it said truly gripped Michelle’s attention, and she couldn’t help but point it out to her husband. She was filled with questions. And, she’d soon get her answers.
Michelle was so struck by the words, she took to social media to share the experience. “My husband and I were having our late lunch at McAlister’s Deli when I noticed a guy seated on our opposite side of the table waiting for his food. What caught my attention was the words written in his tattoo on his left arm,” she wrote.
“It says, ‘Together we serve’ with a cross sign before it. I told my husband to discretely look at his tattoo, and see how beautiful its meaning is. I told my husband, it can have double meanings,” Michelle continued. She further explained, the word “we” could mean all of us as a whole serving God, or “we” could imply the man, together with his other half, whether that be his girlfriend or his wife.
As she watched, she eventually noticed that a woman who joined the man shared the same tattoo. “Hey hon, they both have the same tattoo on their left arms!” Michelle excitedly told her husband. “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!” she admitted, adding that it left her thinking, “Relationship goals!”
As the couple captivated Michelle’s attention, they soon did something that only further moved her. “My heart melted more when they started holding each other’s hands as they pray before eating! I was blown away! Not only by seeing how sweet they were but by just simply being bold enough in professing their faith in public. And for me, that is really what a relationship goal must be!” she wrote.
As Michelle and her husband finished their meal, she remained fixated on the remarkable couple sitting across from them. Michelle’s eyes were glued to the pair, and as soon as they finished eating, she approached them just to say that she was blessed and inspired by them, their tattoos, and their faith and love for God.
After introducing herself and telling the pair the impact they had on her, Michelle learned that they had just gotten married a couple of months prior and were working for the United States Army — serving not only God but their country together.
Proving how genuinely kind they were, the couple asked Michelle and her husband if they could pray for them. So, in the middle of the café, four strangers bowed their heads, held hands, and prayed for one another. “For the first time in our entire lives, never did we experience strangers praying for us!” Michelle recalled.
“Inside that cafe, all four of us held each other’s hands, bowed our heads down, as this 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 may our love for God prosper and grow just as how God’s love and grace overflows in our lives.”
The experience completely moved Michelle, so much so she later took to Facebook with a photograph of her own tattoo. “How amazing that moment is!” she wrote. “Just like the line of the song we’ve heard from the church this morning, it says ‘Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out of me.’ That is exactly how we feel right after that encounter with the lovely couple from the army. May God always bless and protect them, and may their lives always be a blessing too as they serve God and their country together.”
As the post went viral, this couple left the world with another reminder: The best way to bring people closer to God is to be a living example of the faith and love that we preach. You never know who might be watching and who could be moved by our actions as we follow Christ. Some of the best testimonies aren’t made with words but rather with actions that others quietly observe. Demonstrate Christian values, love, and faith — even when you think no one is watching.