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We haven’t worked together from anywhere to a few years to over a quarter century, but we still enjoy to get together. Once or twice a year, we meet to see how everyone else is doing and to recount memorable people and incidents from our days as reporters and editors.

When one of the group walks through the door at the popular pizza place where we gather, there are mutual smiles of recognition when we catch sight of the new arrival. Not every day at work was like a visit to an amusement park. However, we got a lot of work done well and managed to have plenty of laughs along the way.

Our ranks have thinned a bit in the past 20 years, so I think we appreciate ever more the times we get together socially.

The joy we get in seeing familiar faces again got me thinking. What will the joyful reunions be like when (we hope) we get to heaven and see those who have gone before us?

We would definitely run into co-workers. However, heavenly reunions would also include other friends, former neighbors and, most specially, the ones we love the most. Parents, spouse, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, in-laws and others up to and including favorite third and fourth cousins. There might be faces that we have seen in old black-and-white pictures — grandparents, great-grandparents — but we have never met.

The delight my former co-workers and I get when we see each other coming through that pizza place door will be overwhelmed by unimaginable joy when we see the faces of those we love in heavenly reunions.

Yet, as infinitely blissful as that moment will be, it will not come close to the perfect joy that we will experience will face of God and He smiles back in recognition.

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God gives us reasons to smile.

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