I attended a reunion today...the kind of reunion that only happens when a tragedy has occurred. People who haven't seen each other in 7 or 8 years gathered today to grieve the loss of one extraordinary guy.
There was another reunion on Monday night - of a very different nature. An event that caused us to grieve here on earth led to a reunion of perfect joy somewhere else.
How can that possibly make sense to us - really? How do we reconcile that? I have no idea.
Here's what I do know. Justin Cope was extremely gifted (as a musician, as a teacher, as an actor, as an...everything), he was consistent (everyone had the same opinion of him - energetic, thoughtful, kind to everyone - a joy to be around), and he loved the Lord. Loved Him.
Here is what else I know. Justin can now see the bigger picture. We can only see through a tiny little window where we're at, but now he can see with Heaven's eyes, and it all makes true and perfect sense. He has looked fully into the face of One Who loves him, and he has new eyes. They're still perfectly brown, but new nonetheless.
I very much wish I had been there to see this reunion. Can you imagine? I'll bet, for a second, it was like looking into a mirror...Cope always had his Father's smile.
And there he sits, playing the king of all acoustic guitars (something in the Heavenly Taylor series, I'm sure), looking at the bigger picture and finally understanding things. Billy Jones and I laughed as we thought about how much Jesus must be enjoying Justin's antics right about now. He's writing new and wonderful songs, goofing off with Gabriel, and rooting for Tennessee...
The time of Justin's life will know no end, nor grief, nor sorrow. But it will know many, many joyful reunions.
See you soon.