it's raining in texas! - yes the third day in a row... so yesterday we spontaneusly decided to drive to houston and see some some art - the menil collection, rothko chapel and stations on skin.
stations on skin is remarkable. we saw it onlne the day before and the opportunity to see it was too good to miss. it's come out of ecclesia, a wonderful church in houston that chris seay is the pastor of. he was around so we got the chance to chat. ecclesia have a resident artist scott erickson (i wish more communities would employ artists!). scott designed 10 tattoos based on the narrative of the stations of the cross - see all the designs here. and then anyone in the community was invited to take that design and get a tattoo. so the art is literally etched on skin. but it has also been photographed and is beautifully displayed on the walls of the church as an exhibition. chris has the resurrection one so we got to see one of the tattoos.
perhaps unsurprisingly in america they are getting all sorts of complaints from people who see tattoos as bad somehow. see the comments on scott's post for a great response. but i loved the summary part of scott's post of why they are doing this...
The reason why we are doing this is because we believe in our context this is an appropriate contextual expression of our faith.
We had 126 people intially sign up to get tattoos out of our community. I had a conversation after one of the services with a young woman who had many tattoos. I wanted to find out if she had gotten the inking done locally (cause I was putting together a list of tattoo artists I could steer people too… support your local tattoo artist community!) but she told me she had gotten most of her work down in New York.
She’s only been in Houston for a couple months. She has a young daughter and going through a painful divorce. She explained to me what her tattoos meant. All of them had deeply personal stories. I asked her what she thought of this show and she said that she thought it was amazing. She went on to explain to me how most of the time when she attends a church that she feels like she needs to hide her tattoos… that they are inappropriate somehow. But to her, they explain who she is… so she feels like she has to hide who she is. (Sound familiar at church?) She then expressed how grateful she is to have found a community where she can be who she really is.
That’s it for us.
That’s the contextualizing we are striving for…. that there is a place for all who desire to know Christ and His resurrecting grace…. no matter how they are marked.
my favourite one was this one - it's so simple but very powerful - the nail in the hand and words from isaiah 53 - by his wounds we are healed. of course this gets added to the worship tricks series!!! it was such a treat to be able to see this.