The Marks of NCU

The Beacon Bolt is a publication of the student body of Northwest Christian University. Tattoos are an interesting way to get to know people and quickly jump into a deep conversation with someone you may not know to well. Growing up I was taught that tattoos are a meaningful and personal commitment that should be taken very seriously. I now believe that people who choose to receive tattoos are deciding to put a piece of their story permanently onto their bodies. It’s an amazing art that can express so much meaning in such a simple and delicate way.

Talking to my fellow peers as well as NCU’s faculty and staff about their own tattoos has been such an amazing way to get to know more about the way they choose to express themselves in such a unique and lovely way. Here are a few of the people who were willing to share these intimate details with the Beacon Bolt and the marks that they chose to represent a piece of them self and their story.

Sophomore Josh Higashi

“The second tattoo that I have is an anchor tattoo on my pinky. And my best friend Spencer and I have the same tattoo because we’re accountability partners. And the anchor really wants us to hold an anchor to our faith. Whenever we’re both struggling with our walk, we challenge each other to be better. I think that’s really cool to have an accountability partner – somebody who can help guide you in this time as you struggle. In the days of the Japanese gang – the Yakuza – whenever they would do something wrong or say something wrong or dishonor the group they would cut off their pinky as a form of submission. Because in Samarai sword fighting the pinky is the control finger because it’s the most powerful and closest to your hand, so if you try to pull your pinky away from your hand it’s the hardest to pull away. That’s how we want to be, we want to submit to Christ and just give our lives to Christ.”


Recruiter for MBA Program Billy Dorsch

“I have a heart that’s on my thigh and I got it because I lost a bet to a friend when I was 18. We made a bet on a playoff basketball game. The loser had to get the other person’s name tattooed in a heart and I did that in a place where I could hide it and not show a single person. But I paid my dues.”


Junior Delia House Lopez

“I had this idea in high school, my sophomore year of high school, that I wanted to get a tattoo, really bad. Before that I didn’t really have an idea, but I wanted to make sure that the tattoo was really cool, but also means something to me. My junior year after I became a Christian, I thought man, let’s do a Celtic knot or something cause it’s not a cross. I didn’t want to do things that everyone else had, not to say that their bad; I just wanted something that was mine. I started designing this tattoo in my junior year of high school and I finally perfected it freshman year here at NCU. I went in over that summer, the day after I got my check, so July 2nd, and I got this done! I let the artist go ham on it. I just gave him the outline and said do with it what you will. He did all the shading; he did the white outline, and everything. He’s really great; he’s going to do my next one. It’s all about threes, you see the yin and yang and that it’s in three parts, I don’t know if there is a name for that it’s just how my life comes, in threes. I’ve had three favorite numbers my entire life, I have three favorite people that have lived on this planet, I have three major seasons in my life, I have three major seasons in my walk with God. It’s just a number that comes up a lot for me. I decided to put it on my body because I feel that tattoos are a way to get to know people better. If people can see the marks I make for myself they’ll know me better.”


Freshman Trent Pihas

“The meaning of my tattoo is the date of a car crash that I got in that I almost lost my life. So it’s just a really significant moment of my life to remember.”


Senior Julia Shoemaker

“So I got my tattoo last year just as a reminder to me to trust my instincts and remain the way God made me and to not let the world change who I am. so the wolf a reminder to be independent but to also be a pack animal, to stay true to your instincts and to run wild in the natural world.”


Sophomore Brady Box

“The reason I got my tattoo is because I was in a really bad car accident that I got really beaten up in. It left some scars on my right arm that will be there for a while, so I decided to get a tattoo next to them as a reminder that God was looking out for me that day. The cross on top of the hill has a purple banner, which is the color of royalty, and Jesus is royal, he is the king of kings, in the banner it has the ichthus which has in it “Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Savior” on the top part of the cross is the symbol for alpha, and on the bottom is the symbol for omega. Both letters are in Gold because that color represents God. God is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.”


Freshman Stephanie Steinhardt

“My mother and my sister and I all got matching tattoos and it really just shows we’re a family.”


Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission Mike D’Eliso

“I got the inspiration for my tattoo as a student because when I moved to Eugene to start school at NCU my parents got divorced. And when my parents divorced, I didn’t really feel like I had a place to call home. Home wasn’t really home; Eugene wasn’t really home and I was comforted when Christ said the foxes have dens, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. He who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. I took that verse and wanted to make something that used both of those. I had the tree as a central spot – a live, beautiful looking tree in that way – and a fox at the bottom and some birds coming in to make a nest at the tree just to remind me that this place isn’t my home. This is a temporary place where I work with my hand to the plow and home is for later. Home is in Heaven.”


Sophomore Juniper McDonald

I have always really loved being outdoors, and my tree is a Douglas Fir which is the most common tree in my hometown which happens to be in Douglas County!


Athletic Director Corey Anderson

I always wanted a tattoo growing up but I didn’t know what I wanted, but as a tattoo it’s going to be permanent, so I just waited. So 6 years ago… I was in Hawaii which I have history with I wasn’t born there but I grew up there from 1-5 I was in Hawaii. So I was in Hawaii with my middle son and when I was there, 3 times we saw a big turtle pop up. So I was like okay… and I started thinking about this tattoo thing while I was there. I got 3 boys, saw 3 Honu turtles, and so that’s where I put it together. So my tattoo is JJ, Jackson, Cooper. The Honu turtle is a family. The funny part is I’m in Hawaii in the water every day, so I couldn’t get it until I was leaving. So literally the day we left I woke up, I went to the tattoo parlor, I knew what I wanted, got it, came back, my leg was wrapped, and my parents (I was 38 years old) and I go there and my mom got totally mad like she wanted to ground me.


Junior Morgan Horn

“It’s called the ‘sister house’ and it makes a house. Each line represents one of my sisters. My sister Ashley designed it. We wanted it to be something that was original, something that one of us made because it’s about all of us. And I have five sisters, so it’s really important to me and four out the five of us have it. “


Recruiter for Adult Degree Program Johnny Mager

“The one I have on my ring finger is Greek. The Greek writing is “agape” from the word love out of the Bible.””


Senior Joe Laurendeau

“The inspirational meaning to my tattoo (why it’s a shield with a cross) is from Ephesians and the armor of God and the shield of faith. Also, my hobby – sword fighting – ties into warrior culture. Out on the battlefield a warrior is dead without his shield. With that in mind, as a Christian I am dead without my faith. Without Christ there with me and this is my daily reminder to hold fast to my faith knowing that He will protect me from all that I might fear.”


Admission Counselor Jazzy Villarruel

I got the sunflower because it’s shown that when they’re growing they tend to look toward the sun. It’s just an everyday reminder for me to always keep my focus on God because sunflowers look toward the sun for growth, so I need to always look toward God to grow. That’s the only way that I’m going to grow.


As you can tell there are many beautiful stories written on the bodies of the people surrounding us. I encourage you to ask someone about his or her marks and watch the deep appreciation you can have toward the openness people have about their lives.

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