Why was my son born anyway, if only to die about a month shy of 20 years old??
As I reflect on his birthday today, I am plagued in my heart to ponder this question. You see, when you have a child who dies too soon, according to our human time understanding, the weirdest questions fill your mind.
So, why was my son born anyway?
Before I allow pity to plow me down emotionally…
Before I allow anger to atrophy my heart…
Before I allow despair to dump me into the pit…
I must turn my mind to wisdom and truth.
My son was born for a purpose, just as each of us is born for a purpose.
I believe his purpose was not to be overwhelmed by mental illness, or become addicted to substances and then be overcome by them, or to hurt anyone…
especially not his mom, or dad, or siblings, or family, or friends.
He loved us all.
So, what was his purpose?
It is my understanding, that we humans are born to do two things: to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.
Did my son, Caleb, do these things?
I believe yes, even in his suffering and brokenness he did these things.
…especially enduring these things!
He glorified God by loving Creation; He loved to walk and hike and be still in the quiet of Creation, especially with another sibling or friend alongside.
He glorified God by his gentleness with people, especially those who struggled or were left out; He was described by his best friend: “Caleb was the type of person who would be with you, even if you couldn’t be with your own self.” Isn’t that just like our Lord?
He glorified God by running the race, literally. He used his body to it’s fullest alongside teammates, encouraging them and setting an example of physical perseverance and comradery – he led as a captain who cared more for the person than the win.
He glorified God by loving his family especially. He loved “home” and always wanted to know where everyone was and wanted to be part of the activity in the family God placed him in, and as I found out later, he too had a knack of “just being” with a sibling in a way that gave unsaid support and love.
Basically, he loved people. And, that glorified God because that’s just what Jesus is all about.
Even in his suffering and brokenness he did these things.
And he did more.
He taught me so many things in his suffering and brokenness.
He helped me learn unconditional love.
He helped me see people more as God sees people.
He broke down stigma for me and helped me to understand people who struggle with addiction and other issues that overwhelm.
He helped me to humble myself before God and Trust Him more.
In his suffering and brokenness, he glorified God by showing me more of who God is.
My son was born to love people in his life path and show me (and maybe he did others too) more of who God is. Yes, he had a purpose while he lived his 19 years.
And, because he made a decision to keep Jesus in his heart when he was a younger teen, he is now enjoying God forever, literally.
No time for pity, anger or despair today!
It’s my son’s birthday today and I rejoice in the memories of who he was and choose to love him for all he did that was good. Yes, mistakes were made, pain was involved… first for him, then for us all who loved him… and I wish many things could have had a different outcome.
He fulfilled good purposes while he lived, even still.
So, I live today, being reminded, because of his birth,… that I need to do the same with the days God is allowing me: to love others, all others, no matter what. And, to enjoy God forever, keeping him in my heart, assuring me a place in heaven too.
May you who read this post be spurred on to love like Jesus does.