Saturday, November 24, 2007
It was with sad shock that I heard Mic Christensen was found dead in his apartment this morning. Mic's death was too sudden and too soon.
I met Mic through TurningPoint church. He was easy to spot – the youngish white-haired guy signing the praise music. As I got to know him, several characteristics stood out.
First was his sense of humor. I attended his sign language classes, and he often had us in an uproar by telling on himself, or more preferably, his mother! His expressions and dramatic signs more than adequately conveyed his jokes and made him a perfect choice for emcee of our church's yearly talent show as he mimed us into hysterics.
Another characteristic was his patience. As we struggled to learn a "foreign" language, he patiently repeated signs over and over, doing all he could to ensure our success. You could often find him teaching animal signs to kids. And he applauded even the feeblest of efforts as we learned how to communicate not only with him, but with an entire culture of deaf people.
Mic had a love for animals, probably inherited from his mom & step-dad. Most significant was his love for Lila, his dog, but he had compassion for all animals and for the relationships others had with their animals. When my cat was hit by a car, Mic was there to sympathize, and he was thrilled when I acquired another cat.
What stood out most, however, was Mic's perseverance, persistence, and tenacity. Mic was one of the most determined people I know when it came to communicating with the "hearing" world. I often wondered if, as the only deaf person in our church, he would get frustrated with communication there and stop attending, but he persisted. He would go to all extremes to get his message across. And he insisted in being involved. Many of us were recipients of his dogged phone calls. Picnics, talent shows, and other programs came to be because he would not let go, and we were all blessed as a result.
Mic reminds me of the story of Jacob wrestling with God all night, then saying "You can't go until you bless me." I know God has a special place in his heart for Mic, a man who would not let go.
Mic was no saint. Mic was my friend. And I find this world a sadder place without him in it.
Posted by Jane Maritz at 3:06 PM