Three years ago today—Easter— was the last time I saw my Michael, my son, my reflection alive. We sat in the
kitchen and talked about God, school, rugby, and life. He asked me to please keep him home and from going back to college. He told me he just wanted time to reflect and be at home. The decision to send him back to school transformed my life.
The pattern of life is: birth, then death, followed by resurrection. As Richard Rohr puts in his book “Immortal Diamond”,
if we can die to that which stands in the way of life, if we can let go of that which is “False” and experience our “True Selves,” (Resurrection), we can be transformed.
(I built Michael an altar up above Mijas, picture)
Our “False Self,” who we are on the surface, only sees in parts. The “True Self,” who we are at our core, sees in wholeness and communion. It shows itself when we are deeply silent, in much pain, or in love.
Addictions, death, abuse, our sin, each lead us to bitterness, anger, depression, or they lead us to freedom and transformation. The very failures and radical insufficiency of our lives are what lead us into larger life and love.
When we can learn to give up, when we can learn to not be in control and allow our egos to die, we will find freedom! The most freeing thing I have ever discovered is that I am not in control, I am going to die, and it is not about me, but I am about life!
I do not get to control it, but I do get to participate in this grand arena called life. And, in-fact one of my mantra’s is, “If I can control it at any level, I probably do not want it”!
The darkness and abyss of Michael’s death drove me to silence. I came to a path in the road and had a choice to make. Will I raise my fist at God and people and hate for the rest of my life, or will I allow the pain, the anguish, the not understanding, the “why” drive me to be transformed?
Now, hear me out; I am falling into being transformed. I did not do it because I am some great guy or above anything or that I have something figured out. I simply allowed the pain to take me to places I never wanted to go, some very dark places and some places of pure healing.
Michael’s death transformed my life. I am not sure what would have been different if I would have kept him home that day, if he would still be alive and with us. One of the places which I had to die is to not have the answer to that question.
I am just learning to rest in the beauty of who he was, who he is.
Simply because of grace and mercy; I am a man of humility and I am a man of peace. I am the first to forgive, and the first to serve. My wife said to me the other day, “Babe, I love all this humility and forgiveness and watching you weep over these kids, but DON’T lose your balls!”.
Don’t worry Sweetheart, I am still a warrior— I will fight for our marriage, our children, our children’s children, I will fight against injustice and I will fight for a generation for the rest of my life!
I am a wounded warrior… I will carry the scars forever, as both message and trophy. They still “hurt” in a way, which keeps me mindful and humble, but they no longer allow me to hurt other people. Pain transformed is no longer pain transmitted.
Happy Easter Everyone.
As we live as “Volunteers”/”Missionaries” out here in Mijas, Spain we need your prayer and financial support. Our son Michael’s Foundation is a public charity and every gift you give, from $5 a month or more is tax-deductible, and helps sustain our daily lives and helps us build for the future. Any one-time or monthly gift really does affect our family on a daily basis. Please go to New Horizons Website and look around. We can do matching gifts with corporations, receive gifts from Estates, from Stocks etc. And, please seriously consider supporting us monthly and with your one-time charity. We believe we are right where we are suppose to be, and your generosity proves that to us every day.