Thursday, January 7, 2010

Imagining Micah & Me

Following Micah’s death, I have spent a considerable amount of time, and space on this blog, imagining what our life would be like now if Micah were still with us. I’ve pictured scenes from the life that I thought I would have with my son. I don’t think that my imagination will ever stop. If the Lord sees fit to have us continue in this life, I think I’ll always consider what life would be like at that point in time with Micah. We can look ahead and miss those first days of school, or playing with his little brother in the backyard, or perhaps playing right field or point guard or left wing.

In C.S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, Lewis noted how his deceased wife would have disapproved of Lewis’ ongoing practice of projecting what “H” (his wife) would be doing now, if she were still with him. Lewis noted that, the longer he kept up his practice of projecting what “H” would say now or do now, the greater the disparity between the “real” H and the “imaginary” H—the wife that he had created in his imagination.

Of course, our situation is different. While Lewis knew “H” as his wife, we never knew our son as a grown adult. We weren’t blessed with the opportunity to know the sound of his voice, the way he interacted with others, what he desired or what he looked like. I know he likes cartoons, but which ones are his favorites? He loves to eat, but what is his favorite ice cream flavor? I would throw soft balls his way, but I couldn’t determine whether he was left-handed or right-handed. Does he prefer to swim, or skate, or run, …or maybe just sing? Our love for our son is certain; what Micah Robert Wessman is like, as a boy and as a man, are merely abstract projections for us on this side of eternity.

The stalwart truth of God’s sovereignty takes the steam out of my imaginations of the life I wanted with my son. God ordained the number of Micah’s days on this earth, and his days were numbered just less than 9 months. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16. We can say with certainty that God never created Micah to be with his parents and his little brother all at the same time. Before Micah was conceived, it was certain that would never be such a family picture.

But just as Psalm 139:16 states that God did not ordain our family to be together, so also scripture gives me the opportunity to imagine – not in what I have Lost but to imagine what my life with Micah WILL BE on the New Earth. My imagination seems better served to imagine what it will be like to hold my son, at long last, when I see him again on the New Earth.
In Revelation 21, we are told about the New Jerusalem. “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” While we can’t realistically say that we know what he would be doing with us NOW (on our earthly life during our earthly existence), my imagination allows me some foretaste as to what my life will be like with Micah for all eternity.

In the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” the Jesus character comes upon his mother, Mary, as he is carrying his cross toward Golgatha. The pain of her son’s inevitable death is etched on Mary’s face. Jesus looks at his mother and promises her, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5). Our living hope is that Jesus has made all things new, and is continually making all things new, including the death of a little boy---by his death and resurrection. We can cry in hope because of the hope that God will redeem it all in the end. By making “all things new,” I believe that EVERYTHING will be made up for: every lost embrace, every lost look, every laugh of my little boy that I didn’t hear; every meal together; every lost holiday, birth day party; all those lost Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners; each of those days I would have taken him to school, to baseball or band practice; even those high school days when he wanted nothing to do with his parents; all these days, all these moment will be redeemed in the end.

After Steve Curtis Chapman lost his daughter Maria Sue in a tragic accident, pastor Greg Laurie sent a note to Chapman saying, “Maria Sue is a bigger part of your future than she is of your past.” I pray that my imagination be used not mainly to mourn what was lost and was never ordained to be, but to point me toward my future eternal life with my son Micah.

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