Some things in life are a mixed blessing. Like my dog, who is incredibly inconvenient and expensive to care for, which irritates me, since I’m not really a dog person. Today, on an early morning walk (just seven hours after a late night walk), I managed to lock myself out of the house and the dog found something stinky and wet to roll in. The biggest blessing for me is that I remembered where I’d hidden the emergency house key. But the dog makes Samuel happy, which is its own kind of blessing.

Sometimes I feel the same way about Facebook. We know that some folks use Facebook in harmful ways, posting comments designed to taunt or hurt others. I don’t have any friends like that, but even so, some days Facebook can be a pain, especially when I get a bunch of messages wanting me to buy, trade, or do something in Farmville, which must be a Facebook gaming site. I always think these folks don’t have enough real stuff to do. I’ve been to Farmville, NC, and that’s Farmville enough for me. 

But on other days, Facebook can be a surprising blessing. When my birthday rolled around last December, at least a hundred happy birthday wishes showed up on my “wall.” Then yesterday, after I posted a picture of Bethany on the anniversary of her death, scores of Facebook friends — some of whom I barely know — either posted comments on the wall, indicated they liked the picture, or sent a private message to express encouragement or to say they were praying for me.

That was … nice.  

I still have no interest in playing online games or in poking anybody (whatever that means), but the taste of community offered through the virtual gathering of friends from around the world can become a surprising avenue of grace and support, and that’s a blessing indeed. Today I’m feeling very grateful to all who bless my life, whether on Facebook or elsewhere. 

The dog … not so much.

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