|All work done by Michael Facchini|
at Blackhole Tattoo (West) Beaverton, OR
It's not a family tree in the genealogical sense, but it holds far more meaning to me. It's about the passing on of more than genetic material, it's the passing on of our faith. There is a lot of pressure on parents. It seems there are so many opportunities to screw our kids up. I think that pressure is felt even more acutely when it comes to matters of faith. You want your kids to develop their own faith, their own moral compass, their own sense of compassion. You don't just want them to be automatons for whatever you program them with, but you have to share what you believe, you have to pass on your values and your traditions. So you try your best, and then you are bombarded with ideas and advice about what you should do. Are you doing enough, are you doing too much? How can you not screw up their paradigm of faith?
I grew up as a PK, a Pastor's Kid, and though that seems to screw a lot of kids up, I think it worked for me. I think it worked because while I got a look at how horrible Christians and the church could be from the inside, I also saw the loving example of everyday faith from my parents. They are followers f Jesus, and you can see that in the way that they love others. They didn't worry about the religious acts of faith, so much. We didn't have family devotion times, times where we all got together and read the Bible every night, or once a week growing up in my house. In fact we had to stop praying at dinner time because my sister and I weren't taking it seriously. I once volunteered to pray for dinner in front of the nuns at my sister's Catholic school, and said, "hail Mary full of grace bless us now while we stuff our face". I think that's when we got rid of every night meal time prayers. We did always go to church even on vacation in Disneyworld, which admittedly was a drag, but but it did teach me to make God a priority. We talked about the Bible, like people talk about sports teams, we prayed when we felt we needed to, and my parents were incredibly generous, loving and Christ like to just about everyone we encountered everywhere. I understood from a very young age what it meant to follow Jesus and have a relationship with God. I don't feel like I built my house on the rock, that Jesus talks about in the parable. I feel like I grew out of and around that rock.
My faith roots me in God, and always has, that doesn't mean there are not doubts, questions, frustrations etc. There are times I have wanted to walk away from my faith, abandon my calling, and I have yelled out to God. Doubt informs my faith, strengthens it at times, and forces me to delve deeper into the Bible to figure things out. Often the things that send me running away from God soon have me running right back. I am blessed to have experienced a loving, God full of grace and mercy, that forgives, and reveals himself to me. I am blessed to have parents that could exemplify that.
That is what I hope we are giving to our kids, and that is what this tree represents. My faith, grown from the foundation of God's great love, shown to me first by my parents. It's a faith, I hope my kids come to know and understand. God has always been there for me, my rock, my anchor in times of struggle, my joy in times of celebration and in mourning and my parent's example is how that faith first started to form.
I have also been blessed to have many other adults in my life that followed Jesus with a genuine, compassionate faith, and loved me out of the love God gave them, helping to shape me into who I am. This tattoo is a nod to them as well. There are so, so many, but the Davis family is where I first encountered a Japanese Maple. One grew right by their doorway. I loved that tree, and I loved being at their house, it has always been a place filled with love and a hospitality like no other.
|Elijah's Profile Silhouette|
|Tabitha's Profile Silhouette|
|the kid's signatures|
I hope someday they will come to have a family faith tree too, maybe not a tattoo, but an appreciation and an understanding of how their own personal faith developed from the many wonderful people and experiences God put in their life.