By John Pierce

Like most everything else, Internet technology has its downside. But it can serve as a connecting point that crosses miles and years.

Today, I find joy in continued relationships — in person and online — built over more than a half-century. Friends from my growing-up and student years are cherished and invaluable.

Then there are the former youth — now well-established adults — with whom I worked in places like Thomaston and Roswell, Ga., and Durham and Yanceyville, N.C.

Once-young college students at Southern Tech, Kennesaw State and Georgia Tech, with whom I shared many good experiences, are now leaders in their careers, churches and communities. And my second vocation of journalism has added to the many meaningful relationships formed over the decades.

Churches where I have been engaged — both short term and longer — have introduced me to many others who are easy to know and love. I count those relationships as blessings as well.

Friendships are not built on uniformity of thought. We have divided opinions over politics, religious perspectives, sport team allegiances and personal interests. But there are common connections rooted in human frailty, shared journeys, genuine care and ultimate hope.

So among the many things for which I give thanks this season are the connections and reconnections with those who continue to enrich my life — through both personal encounters and  technology beyond my comprehension.

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