Since the new year has rolled in, the one that we all stayed up counting down to and waiting for,
It has brought a wave of earthly sadness with it that none of us could have predicted.
In just one week my best friend lost her mother after only having found her again after many, many heartbreaking years of separation,
Another friend lost his dad after a lengthy battle with a terrible disease,
And just days ago, one of my special friends said goodbye to this place we temporarily call home.
And while I weep with my friends and for my friend, as I sang the words in church on Sunday
Better is one day in your courts, better is one day in Your house than thousands elsewhere.
I thought…while we grieve our losses here, the ones who’ve breathed the air of heaven are there in HIS courts, in HIS presence NOW while we are stuck down here.
“They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:4-5
Right there at the end of the last book of the Bible, the book that has confounded followers of Christ for so long, clear as anything it says it,
They will see His face.
And I began to weep as I sang those words in church…my best friend’s mom, my other friend’s dad, and my special friend Ronnie, they are seeing His face now.
I wanted to point out my special friend Ronnie. Ronnie was a guy, who by the world’s accounting, was “handicapped”, “special needs”, “mentally challenged or disabled”. Ronnie was the kind of person that sadly, most people would try to avoid.
But Ronnie made me laugh…a lot and I loved him very much.
I met Ronnie this past summer at Camp Joy and all I remember is his smile. That and the ridiculous getup he wore while singing “KoKoMo” at the talent show. Camp Joy is built for people like Ronnie and having been there many, many times, I can tell you true, it IS the happiest place on earth. It is the closest thing to heaven any of us will ever see down here.
So there I am singing, and crying, and thinking of the pain my friends and their families are experiencing and all I can think is
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-5
And then I thought…Ronnie has a perfect body and mind now. Or maybe he is exactly the same because maybe in heaven everything is perfect just the way it is…
Because everything there is JUST JOY.