Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Virtual Reunions

I've been found by and been finding lots of old friends on Facebook lately. It's wonderful, and a more than a little strange. It's viral how it happens. This latest round, best I can tell, went like this.

My church youth group in high school did a camping/adventure trip every summer. I honestly don't quite remember exactly how many years I went, but I think I went, first as a kid and then as a leader, probably every summer but one from the time I was a junior in high school to the time I was a junior in college.

Anyway, so a guy I hadn't seen in at least 15 years puts up a group photo of about 15 of us taken just before we went white water rafting. He tags a couple of folks he's still in touch with, and then they tag a couple more, and then they start looking for the ones they don't know yet. One of them found me, friended me, and tagged me. Then all of a sudden we're all "Facebook friends," and I'm part of the group looking for some others who are missing. We find them. More connections. And suddenly, I'm reunited with this entire group of people that really significantly shaped who I am, how I see myself, and the world, and especially God and church, things that have become very important to me.

I spent more than 6 hours on the phone this weekend with three people that I haven't seen in years. One of them, I spoke to about 5 years ago. The other two, I don't think I've seen or spoken to in more than fifteen years. But these 3 people probably knew me better than anyone in the world from the time I was about 16 to 21 years old.

Strange how such a random set of connections can open a door into the past, into memories and feelings and thoughts, into a sense of self lost and found. My head is still spinning a bit with the wonder of God's providence in the whole thing. We come into each other's lives for a time and we give and receive what we have to give and need to receive. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would not be who I am had these friends not crossed my path 20 years ago. How does one say thank you for such profound gifts?

For now, it is enough to cherish the memories, to embrace the invitation to relish a bit what we meant to one another, how we helped one another to give and to grow. And whither then? I cannot say....

Monday, December 08, 2008


Just checking a little something. Don't get too excited.