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Dad gets implant tattoo for his daughter

Alistair Campbell shows off the tattoo he got of a cochlear implant that matches his hearing impaired six-year-old daughter's cochlear implant (Credit: Anita-Alistair Campbell/Facebook)Aching wounds have a way of causing us to lose our words while we hold back our tears. Walt Whitman said he doesn't ask the wounded person how they are feeling, he attempts to become the wounded person. "The land of tears is so mysterious," according to Antonie de Saint-Exupery. Watching the wounded from close is a breeding-ground of helplessness and a drought ridden land with words. But where words are absent and heart is present, loving actions are birthed.

Meet Alistair Campbell.  Last week, his six-year-old daughter was fitted with a cochlear implant. This is an electronic device situated outside of the ear to stimulate the nerves in the inner ear. It does this in order to provide a sense of sound to those who have a hearing deficiency. Young Charlotte already had one device implanted when she was four. Upon receiving the news she would need a second, her dad wanted to show his love for her and empathize with her.

Telling Buzzfeed that it took a shave of his head, a little bit of pain, and around forty-five minutes, Alistair wanted to show Charlotte that she was not alone. The New Zealand Herald reported Campbell saying, "The tattoo was a tribute…we have a close father-daughter bond, and I thought it would be quite fitting for me to do that… as she grows older, she'll understand the love behind it."

Her mother reported that Charlotte thought the tattoo was cool, but didn't quite fully grasp the significance. While she might not understand the lengths of this act of love, she did understand something had changed with her dad. A cursory glance would say that it was his hair and a marking on the side of his head, but a closer look would reveal that love, yet again, transformed a less than desired situation into a portrait of beauty.

Love has an enduring ability to never leave a situation unchanged. A transforming and dynamic agent, love brings warmth to cold situations and hope to bleak circumstances. Though it may not change the outcome, love can change the perspective of the recipient and the atmosphere of the environment. This is so vividly demonstrated in the empathetic love of a bald father to his 6-year-old daughter.

Charlotte may not currently understand this great act, but one day she might. Until that day, a world has taken notice all because this act of love was posted on a Facebook page. Alistair did not have fight for attention, nor did he have to go to battle for his daughter, he simply loved her and the world took notice.  He sacrificed for her, related to her, and in turn media outlets are clamoring for coverage.

We live and move in a hostile world in which the pervasive motif is fighting – especially in evangelical circles. We fight for our holiness and we go to battle in our culture wars. But perhaps fighting is the wrong motif with regards to our culture. Maybe we need to do less fighting and more empathetic loving.

Like Charlotte, the world doesn't fully understand the love of the Father. We can't blame them, because after all it is a gift (Ephesians 2:8). But as the ambassadors of the Father (2 Corinthians 5:20), we have been called to love like the Father, being sacrificial and loving–without a guarantee of return.  

If you are one of the one billion people on Facebook, you have just as much of a voice as Alistair. But even more than a Facebook megaphone, you have a God that abides inside of you, and can do great, loving works through you – even greater works than the Son (John 14:12). So instead of typing the truth on Facebook, show the truth on Facebook. And who knows, someone might be listening.

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