I had a birthday this past week. I got some cards in the mail and a few great ones handed to me from my co-workers, friends and family. All in all, there were about 15 cards that I received. Not bad for my age. Then there were the ones on Facebook. All 292 of them.
I don’t share that number to brag. I was overwhelmed by that number. It represented a lot of greetings and a lot of comments. I was reminded once more of the power of Facebook. For the most part, those greetings consisted simply of “happy birthday.” Some wrote a note, some another couple of words. All in all, though, I knew that I was remembered and people had thought about me on my day.
292. That’s just crazy. Since I was working most of the day, it was late in the evening when I finally had the chance to sit down and read through them. I read the wishes and the comments. More importantly, however, was that I looked at the pictures and the names of each one of those 292. Each time I saw the name, I remembered how I knew them. There is much said about Facebook friends these days, how those are superficial friendships, not really true and meaningful. I was reminded on Monday that for 292, that wasn’t true.
Those 292 wishes represented more than 40 years of friendships and relationships. Spanning the time from high school into college, into grad school and throughout life and ministry, it reflected how far reaching life can be. That number included friends all over the state of Texas, Illinois where I grew up, the east coast, family on the west coast, and yes, even friends from around the world. Those included relationships with people in places like England, Germany, Ukraine and Casablanca, Morocco.
My heart was full. It continued to be filled to overflowing as I read and remembered each name and how I knew them. What a great reminder of the fullness of life. If you were one of those that were included in any of the posts or a card, phone call, or direct face to face wish, I say thank you. You made my day very special. I am honored by your friendship and am grateful for your presence in my life.