Mike Cope's blog

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Tulsa, Stream in the Desert, and Pepperdine are now all in the rearview mirror. I loved each one, but I also love the sense of pressure being over. They all came in the wake of such an intense experience following the wreck. I am emotionally and spiritually drained. I won't be home for Sunday morning, but Highland people will be blessed by my absence! Probably the best lecture given here this year was by Randy Harris. He's going to preach that message again Sunday morning at his home church (Highland). Once again it felt like God allowed the two of us to team up. He preached on Peter's denial (John 18), and I spoke on his restoration (John 21). - - - - - - - - I have many answers to my question from yesterday. But here's one of my answers: my mom. If I opened my eyes after incredible failure, I'd want to see her. I've been nurtured for the 48 years of my life by an amazing woman. Articulate. Bright. Compassionate. Deep faith. And strong. Very, very strong. I remember as a boy -- maybe 12ish -- hearing an older girl who lived next door say, "Your mom is the most beautiful woman I know." I said, "Huh?" I'd never thought about that. She was a MOM, for crying out loud. But I later realized that she was right. She has twice watched her sons grieve. People don't often realize how great the grief of grandparents is. But they get hit twice: they suffer the loss of a grandchild and then they have to watch their own child hurt. Mom's been through this twice. Since retiring as a newspaper editor, she has been active in mission work, going several times for extended stays in the Ukraine. Now she's back in the classroom, taking Spanish at the local college. One of the greatest blessings of my life is that I am my mother's son. Happy Mother's Day.

12 Comments:

  • Along with her many hats, she is an incredible aunt as well!

    By Blogger EBC, at 5/07/2005 06:43:00 AM  

  • What a sweet, sweet tribute to your mom.

    By Blogger Jana, at 5/07/2005 07:38:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I am sure your Mom is very proud of you and all of her family. Your life, even more than your eloquent words, is a beautiful tribute to her life. Happy Mother's Day, Mrs. Cope!

    By Blogger David Michael, at 5/07/2005 09:13:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Not about Mothers Day but I just wanted to let you know how far ahead of the game I believe that you are. Two days ago I finished Ortberg's new book "God is Closer Than You Think". It's a pretty good read.

    Last night I unearthed a book called "One Holy Hunger" by some guy out of Texas. Three chapters into it I think I should have read this one first. I plan on using it as a guide to preach from on Sunday nights if that's OK with the author.

    SO can I?

    <><

    By Blogger Jeremy Houck <>, at 5/08/2005 01:36:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    Great job at Pepperdine. Sorry I didn't get a chance to say hello.

    God's blessings,

    Steve Puckett
    Here's a great Mother's Day read.

    Pieta
    Annemarie Keiderling

    Anyone who has stepped into the vast courtyard of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome knows the feeling of awe at the sheer size of the place. I was pushing a baby buggy as I walked in. This was my first trip with my three-month-old boy, and suddenly my baby and I felt very small, and a rush of protective anxiety came over me. I picked up my precious, sleeping bundle, left the buggy next to one of the pillars, and walked up the stairs hugging my son close to me.

    As I approached the basilica, my eyes were automatically drawn upward to its massive dome, arching up like the sky itself. I stepped inside and gazed at the mighty pillars, the hosts of saints and apostles standing motionless above my head, the gleaming gold lamps around St. Peter’s tomb. Around me, crowds of people streamed in and out, chattering in different languages.

    Suddenly I caught sight of Michelangelo’s Pieta. I had seen photographs of the statue before, but I had forgotten that it would be here. Its power was overwhelming and drew me like a magnet. I walked up close. Here was a mother, like me. In her face I could see a passion beyond describing, a love beyond all else - the same love I felt for my own child. But I also saw something I had never known: a look of suffering. I remembered the Gospel's words about the “sword that cut through her heart,” and held my son closer, wondering how she survived it.

    I remember that sword again now, as I read about the countless mothers who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq. I know their grief is one with Mary’s on Good Friday. I think of those mothers whose sons may return, but who will look into their eyes and see wounds to their spirits - wounds their caresses cannot heal.

    I remember Jesus’ words to the women who followed him as he bore his cross:

    Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, “Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!” (Luke 23:28-29)

    Are we living in that time now? Will a sword someday pierce my heart? How many mothers have felt its stabs this year? I have not lost a son or a daughter. Not yet. But I think every mother can feel Mary’s pain. I would like to protect my innocent children, as Mary wanted to protect her little baby, Jesus. But there is evil and darkness in the world, and none of us is safe from its power.

    There is something else in Mary’s face. I see love and pain, but I also see deep reverence. The body cradled in her lap is her child, but it is also her God. She knows she is holding a soul whose greatness extends as far beyond the wretchedness that killed him as the sky towers over a clod of earth.

    I also see, in her face, the promise of new life - of resurrection. Today it is dark, overwhelmingly dark, especially for those who suffer because of war, whether at home or in far-off places. But just as new life and hope came for Mary, I believe it will come for them. Then their suffering will be lifted, and their tears turned to laughter and joy...

    Just over a month ago, people around the globe observed Palm Sunday. For most, it was a day to remember Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and the crowds who waved branches to welcome him. But it doesn't only mark an historical event. For me it is a reminder of what awaits us in the future, when Christ will return a second time:

    Before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb…[He] will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Rev 7:9,15,17)

    By Blogger Steve Puckett, at 5/08/2005 04:21:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    I was in Abilene this weekend visiting my in-laws, the Curtis's and was looking forward to seeing you speak at Highland. I was disappointed that you weren't there, but I really enjoyed Randy Harris's lesson. I love how Highland always makes me feel at home, no matter who's speaking.

    By Blogger Kyle, at 5/08/2005 05:46:00 PM  

  • Mike; it was a great question, and it gave me a lot to think about on Friday, even after you had spoken Friday evening at Pepperdine. There are a few people I can think of. My friend John, who has seen some of the skeletons in my closet, and still considers himself my friend! My daughter, Natalie, because she is such an encourager. My dad, Garey, because he has given me so much support over the years. My grandfather, Bud Watson, because that would mean I was in Heaven with him, and wouldn't have to worry anymore!

    Loved hearing you speak. I've been giving a lot of thought to the "Bythinias" and "Troases" in my life. It's a very helpful picture for me.

    And, for the record, Brandon could do far worse than letting you sing with a microphone! You were singing a passable bass while I was bellowing my blaring tenor right next to you on Friday!

    You are always in my prayers, that God will continue to be able to use you for His work, in all the ways you serve Him.

    By Blogger Tim Castle, at 5/08/2005 10:47:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    Your mother's face is on my list of people I would want to see also.

    I'd like to name some of the reasons, but you know more than I, that the list would go on and on and on. She has been such a blessing to me. Kathy

    P.S. Your messages were all great at Pepperdine--and I especially loved the one Friday night (and Wednesday, and...)

    By Blogger Vkls, at 5/09/2005 07:03:00 AM  

  • Praise God for Mom's. I got to take mine to the lectureship it was the first time she has been and just loved it. Though two days away from her own bed and all those steps wore her out. But Mom's are the best.

    Pepperdine was great I ordered your tape. I trust that the money is well spent but I do have to tell you that 17 rows behind home plate for a 4-3 win by the Angels was well worth the free ticket and company. Randy did a great job but loved David Fleer...

    By Blogger happytheman, at 5/09/2005 08:24:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    What's the difference between being emotionally drained and spiritually drained?

    By Blogger Matthew, at 5/09/2005 09:21:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    Any opinion on the "news" in Searcy?

    By Blogger gogschu, at 5/09/2005 09:29:00 AM  

  • Mike-
    It was so great to be with you last week. I am still recovering-- are you? Thanks for that awesome illustration of the leaky cup on Friday. I won't forget that one. I so appreciate your spirit and heart. Hope to see you soon. Hug everyone for us in Abilene. Yes, everyone.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 5/09/2005 08:32:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home