Instructions from Adam’s post and my responses:
In a few sentences, respond to the questions below. When you’re done, share, tag a few friends, and pass on the questions. Keep the title, “Meme: My faith, my tattoo” for easy searching. For background on what the heck a “meme” is, see this article.
1. Describe your tattoo(s):
I have one on my ankle that is a Jesus fish with a cross in it and a small heart in the middle. I have one on my upper right back that is the Chinese symbol for truth.
2. What made you want that tattoo(s)?
I was 18 when I got my first – it was definitely an act of rebellion, but also an act of differentiation. I wanted to express my faith in my own way. I was taking my first course during the summer for my seminary education when I got my second tattoo – actually I was on a date with a guy (who’s now my husband) in NYC, and on a whim we decided to get tattoos. I wanted an Asian character (I’m Korean, but liked the look of the Chinese characters) for something that represented what I wanted to experience (not so much possess or even understand) especially in that season of my life.
3. How did your faith influence your tattoo, indirectly or directly?
I wanted something that would verbalize who I am without actually having to say anything. For me faith isn’t faith without some kind of expression, and if it’s unconventional then that’s even better.
4. What’s the relationship between your tattoo and your broader understanding of your body?
I was able to hide the first from my parents for a year. When they found out, my father jumped on the internet to look up tattoo removal services, and my mother kept saying, “it’s the devil, it’s the devil.” We laugh about it now – but I think their view of the body as permanent affected mine understanding, too. It was almost like I would walk into heaven someday with these tattoos and how embarrassing it would be for Jesus to see them. That has shifted now – although tattoos are about as “permanent” as anything can be on our bodies, I now see our bodies as temporary, so I didn’t think it would ultimately be a big deal because it would also be temporary in a way. I also see our bodies, and lives as canvasses in a way, too, and we can treat and use our bodies for God’s glory.
5. Was it worth it…do you have regrets?
6. What funny story has happened because of your tattoo?
A lot of people first look at the one on my ankle and think it looks like a parachuting man.
7. How did your tattoo change your faith (and if not, why not)?
It didn’t really change my faith…just expressed it in a creative way. In college, it was a nice conversation starting point. Now, I hardly think about it.