Thursday, August 12, 2010

Micah's Legacy, Part I: The Unconditional Love of God

As I previously posted, we have now passed the one-year anniversary of Micah’s death and his home-going to Heaven. Heather and I have contradictory feelings about the one-year anniversary. In some ways, it seems like our little Micah was just here. Just last night I came across an old Time magazine of mine that I had saved because, shortly before he died, Micah had gotten his little hands on it and had torn it to shreds. Both Heather and I agreed that it seemed like it was just yesterday when we had watched him, with a little mischievous smile on his face, tear that magazine apart.

But in other ways, it seems like five years, not one year, since we lost him. I think grief has a way of slowing time down. Maybe it is because we lose the illusion that circumstances of life can be controlled or manipulated as we wish. Or maybe it is because grief is emotionally and physically exhausting and life is not as “easy” as it used to be. Or maybe it is because we now have greater reason to look forward to heaven, and we have an increased desire to finish the race of life and enter eternity.

But regardless of how fast time moves, Micah’s departure has certainly left us forever changed. In light of this one-year anniversary, I have had the opportunity to reflect on some of the practical ways in which Micah’s death has impacted me. Over the next few months, I thought I would add to the blog a series of posts about Micah’s legacy to me—that is, how God has used Micah’s death in my own life. While I currently have about five different posts in the works, it is certainly likely that I will add to my list as I proceed. As always, thanks for keeping up with us through this blog and for your prayers.

(1) The Unconditional Love of God

First, Micah’s departure has helped me better understand the unconditional love of God. If Micah had lived past July 27, 2009, I would have loved him regardless of who he would have become as a person. If he eventually became a doctor, a carpenter, a musician, an athlete, a teacher or a janitor; I would have loved him if he was single or married; homosexual or heterosexual; a believer or an unbeliever. I would have loved him if he became a serious person or a clown, a recluse or the life of the party. I have an unconditional love for my son, even now, in his absence.

If Micah had lived, I would have had the opportunity to demonstrate my love for Micah through his successes and his failures. The pain of loss is so great now, not only because we miss who he is, but also because of the loss of opportunity to love him unconditionally. In the absence of his physical presence with us, I cannot demonstrate to him an unconditional love in the context of a father and son relationship. Of course, even though Micah has left us, my unconditional love for him has not.

I think that my pain in the loss of the opportunity to love Micah unconditionally is a “clue” to the nature of the unconditional love that God demonstrated to us through Christ. God gave us salvation, through grace, not because there was anything good in us, but because of his great love for us. His love is unconditional towards us who are given the gift of faith. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7.

The night before Micah left us, Heather was sitting on our living room floor with Micah, talking to her mother and father-in-law. She sat with Micah on the exact spot on the floor which, just 12 hours later, Micah would lay as Heather and the EMTs tried to revive him. As Heather was sitting on the floor that night with Micah, she commented, “I can’t imagine how God could allow His Son to die. I love Micah so much, I can’t imagine seeing him die.”

You certainly do not need to lose your children to understand the nature of the unconditional love you have for your children. But now that I have watched my son die, I have a small sense of the pain that God the Father endured when Jesus the Son went to the cross. As agonizing as my grief has been in losing Micah, God the Father’s grief in losing spiritual separation from His Son was even greater. Amazingly, God the Father deemed the pain He experienced in losing his Son to be worth the price of our redemption as sons.

How great is God’s unconditional love for us! His love for me was bought at a cost that, through Micah’s death, I am only beginning to understand. Our relationship with Him is, in God’s eyes, worth the greatest price. The Cross of Christ is therefore not only the symbol of my salvation, but of God’s great love for me.

Maybe through this love for our children we can better understand the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus, a love that cannot be separated by anything. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate use from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39. Perhaps God placed this unconditional love in the hearts of parents to help us, as Christians, better understand the love that the Father has for us through his son, Jesus Christ.


  1. I appreciate your thoughts. I do think we get some "clues" into God's Father heart as we parent and as we experience loss through parenting. It does help us to appreciate God's sacrifice more, that's for sure.

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights Cory.
    Jessica W.