His voice broke as he hugged his son.
Emotion from my steady-Eddy.
“I’m proud of you,” he says. Then he is wrapped in the long arms of the teenager who now towers above his dad. A manly bear-hug.
Our son’s face softens, his smile one of pure delight.
It seems funny to me–how this moment, this thing that once raised our eyebrow–today provides a sacred place.
He is only seventeen and needed our signature.
When he first asked for a tattoo for his birthday, I gave the party-line answer. “A decision this permanent should be made when you can sign for yourself. One more year.”
Then I tipped the scale the other way with my question, “What do you want and why?”
“A tattoo of the wristband they gave the men at church. It’ll be a reminder that I choose God and am determined to be a man of integrity.”
“That’s really cool, Sam.’ My resistance faded. “Maybe we should talk to dad.”
And so today we stood together in a giant hug, the three of us wrapped in the hallowed spaces of a tattoo shop.
And hubby’s voice shook just a little as he looked into this baby boy’s eyes and declared his pride in the man before him.
Another boy becoming.
Another young man finding his own way with faith and temptation and questions and answers all in the context of seeking relationship with the Creator.
Across the room sat David, getting the same tattoo, standing (figuratively) shoulder-to-shoulder with Sam. A brother thing from this newest sibling, this gift of marriage.
Our daughter divided her time between these two of her men, watching the artists at work. Solidarity flowed between all five of us.
The old Christian box Jerry and I lived in didn’t have room for these sacred moments.
But this new freedom of seeking God, not a cultural mindset, allows for such expression.
Today a simple band of black and red reminds these men who they are and Whose they are.
Someday Another will declare Who He is, “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”*
Riding with Sam as we drove home I said, “I’m so happy.”
His grin was wide. “Why?”
“I think because I feel your joy, and it overwhelms me.”
In reflection I know it was all of that and more. A Dad loving his son. A son knowing he is accepted. A mom watching the youngest take another step into the fullness of who he is.
A man forming before my eyes.
The delight in freedom.
Freedom to be who we are and to express it.
Until Next Time,