When I first ventured into the world of Facebook, I had no idea what to expect. I had friends and family members joining simply so they could keep tabs on their children. That sounded like a great time to me, so I thought I’d join and help them spy.
And then I discovered long ago friends, some that I haven’t talked to in more than 30 years. Sweet and dear friends from high school that I’d lost touch with after graduating. Some of them have gone on to, gulp, become grandparents.
That’s just wrong. Reason #132 why I chose to have all of my children late in life. So that when I become a grandmother, I’LL BE THE AGE THAT GRANDMAS OUGHT TO BE. 104!
Anyhoo. I also friended many of the girls that I met when I first arrived in Los Angeles in 1989. I joined a women’s Bible Study after moving, because I had two girlfriends who had preceded me in the move, and they were joining this women’s Bible Study, and frankly I wasn’t really all that bent to join a women’s Bible Study. I just didn’t know what else TO DO WITH MY LONELY SELF.
Funny how God thumps us on the head when we’re not even looking for Him.
Every Saturday morning, I met with these women. The group was led by a woman named Gail. After a couple of stubborn years, I finally became a Christian. In earnest. In large part because of this group of women, and especially Gail. Gail who was always patient, and never judging. Gail and her husband moved away from Los Angeles in the early 1990’s to begin a new ministry. I completely lost touch with her. But I count many of those women that I keep in touch with on FB, and shared those Saturday mornings with so long ago, as some of my nearest and dearest friends.
And I get to keep up with them now, so far away, because of Facebook. Yesterday, I opened my e-mail to discover that one of my Bible Babes had recommended that I become friends with Gail. GAIL IS ON FACEBOOK. So of course I friended her. Then I started sobbing joyfully as I typed a little note to her, telling her that I was so glad to have found her again.
I suppose the tears flowed because I’ve thought of her so many times over the last number of years, and wondered how she was doing. And I wondered if she had any idea how she impacted my life on those Saturday mornings. How, because of her, my life took such a sharp turn, and has never been the same.
God uses people to plant seeds. And I think that we can have absolutely no idea how He uses us. And I also firmly believe that Heaven is going to be one big surprise party.
After I recovered my emotions, I read on, and read a conversation that a high school friend was having. I began laughing uncontrollably, because, well, something highly inappropriate, but really really funny was written, and, well, you all know my sense of humor. And the lack of taste that goes with it.
I scrolled further down, and discovered, much to my horror, that a dear high school friend had lost her younger brother in a house fire the day before. I know this family well. Her oldest brother is a brother to me. I keep in touch with 2 of the sisters and a sister-in-law on Facebook. My friend, Greg, the oldest brother, and I have kept in touch for many many years. When his entire family was vacationing nearby last summer, we went and spent the day with them. I hadn’t seen him in a few years, and I hadn’t seen his parents or siblings since high school.
I began sobbing again. For a very different reason than just a few minutes before. My heart was breaking for my dear friends and their precious parents. If not for Facebook, I would have been completely ignorant of the situation likely for many days.
I had only been seated in front of my computer for about 10 minutes. But in those few minutes, I experienced the gamut of emotions. I had to walk away, and get quiet with God.
I would have never thought that Facebook, with all the pithy commentary of friends, old and new, could ever affect me like it has. But it has become a way for me to reach out to people in my life, to laugh with them, to cry with them, and more importantly to remember to hold them up in prayer.
Funny how God can work in places we least expect it.
So, do you use Facebook?