Last night I had a dream. In my dream, I was hanging out with an old friend from high school, and he had some photos of friends of ours from back in the day. The pictures were in black and white, but as I looked at each one, it turned into a color picture before my eyes. When I looked away, it would turn back to a black and white picture. I woke up feeling sort of wistful, almost nostalgic. I miss those kids I grew up with.
Of course, they're not kids any more. They're all either pushing 40 like I am, or past it. I know why I had that dream: it's all the fault of Facebook. On Facebook I've connected back up with people I knew during many phases of my life... in high school, in college, and several people from seasons after that (and even one guy from grade school!) I've gotten to see current pictures of them and their spouses and children. It's amazing to see the things we still have in common, and even stranger to realize that in many cases, we have more in common now than we did then!
It's weird sometimes, too, when those worlds collide... when someone I know from high school has a discussion with someone I just met last year, or when someone I met at a previous job turns out to know someone I met at my current job (this happened recently). The illusion that all of these people are somehow together in the same place is a strange one. The fact is that these people are scattered all over the country, and in a few cases, the world. I'm in Oklahoma now; many of my friends from high school are still in Louisiana, but some are in Arkansas, Virginia, Texas, and other places. My high school youth pastor is now a missionary to Africa. My friends from college are even more scattered, since their places of origin were more varied to start with. Last year we switched from our long-time church; even our friends from that period are still at that church or scattered at various churches around town. But by some miraculous circumstance, I can find all of those people in one "place" on the Internet. There's never been a time in history where people all across the face of the globe could feel connected to each other like they can with a social networking site like Facebook.
I have a theory that human beings have something inside them that longs for Heaven. When we feel nostalgic for something in the past, we're longing for Heaven (because when we think back truthfully to that time, it's never as happy of a time as it seems like in our nostalgia). And Heaven is a place where hopefully all my friends and I will be one day! Facebook is far from being Heaven, of course... there are bugs and privacy concerns, and the purpose of Facebook is basically to gather enough information about you to target advertising your way. But being with your spiritual family is part of what will be wonderful about Heaven. Being in close fellowship with the other saints of God... and saints who are once and for all freed from the temptation to sin! ...that will be amazing. I can't wait!