Thursday, November 28, 2013

Making My Son's Death My Own

The farther away in time we get from Micah’s death, the easier it is to become re-absorbed into the world. How much easier it is now, more than 4 years since Micah’s death, to grow comfortable again, to regain personal, professional and family ambitions. We have enjoyed the opportunity to be parents to our three living kids, and all the activities that come with parenting. From an outside perspective, one might say we have a “life” again. But while the world, and well-meaning friends, may applaud us for this re-engagement, a complete re-engagement would mean the loss of one of the great legacies to us of Micah’s death. For in the emotional and spiritual upheaval created in my heart following Micah’s death, I experienced not a physical death, but a death to my own ambitions, dreams and hopes. Since Micah was (and even now is) an integral part of the hopes for my life, in Micah’s physical death I experienced a death in my life’s ambitions. In those weeks and months following Micah’s death, we gained an eternal perspective on our lives and Micah’s short life, a perspective that put all of those ambitions, worldly cares and worldly concerns that I now spend some much time upon in their proper place—buried six feet under along with my oldest son’s remains. I think this type of death, this loss of self-absorption and personal ambition, is precisely what Christ calls us to, as His disciples. Jesus calls us to death—not merely physical, but to our own comforts and ambitions. “Truly, Truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24. About this verse, the Wycliffe Bible Commentary says, “Death is the key to spiritual fruitfulness.” In death, we have no choice but to follow after Christ, to trust in Him, and find His strength sufficient for us. Jesus says that “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25. Will you join me in attempting to lose my own ambitions, in the hopes of gaining real and true life, in Christ?