My facebook friends are super-interesting

People say disparaging things about having 'friends' on facebook. 

"They're not real friends," they say. "They're just cyberspace connections."

And okay, so I might not phone all 475 of my facebook friends (some of them I haven't actually met in person) or invite them all to my birthday parties, but my life is richer because of them.

Perhaps it's because I was fortunate enough to grow up overseas and to have moved around a fair bit as an adult, but I have some very diverse, very different, very interesting people as friends.

One guy lives in Alaska. He's just been on a fishing expedition catching things I've never heard of. He saw three moose and a caribou on his travels.

One of my friends comes from a former Hindu tribal outcaste family in very poor, rural Pakistan. She married a Canadian and is bringing up three children in a completely different culture in the west as well as raising money for poor widows and children back in the Sindh.

I'm friends with people doing overseas relief work, overseas mission work and overseas tourism. I'm friends with women pastors and people who think women should never be pastors. I'm friends with married and single folks, with heaps of kids, with no kids and fostering kids. I'm friends with people who have kids with disabilities who struggle to get by and kids who win every prize at school.

I have friends who hail from 16 different countries, and that doesn't include the extra countries a few of them are living in now. Some of them post status updates in Norwegian, Dutch and Spanish (not all together, I should add). Sometimes they add an English translation which helps me a little. 

Some of my friends are artists, some are sewing whizzes and some don't have an artistic bone in their body. A few live with chronic illness, including pain, depression or chronic fatigue syndrome. Some have massive tragedies they have to walk through, including death of children or abandonment by a partner.

A few of my friends are laugh-out-loud funny. A few think they are laugh-out-loud funny. Some know they aren't and will never be and they're okay with that. Whatever their humour level, everyone has different opinions.

There are people who work nights (nursing, teaching babies to sleep or as a 'I-fix-your-every-problem-concierge-type-person'), people who work days (teachers, doctors, mums and dads at home full time, engineers and people who have shops or online businesses), people who are studying and people who've given up.

Some people tell me every detail of every day. Others never say a word. Some are passionate about politics or the environment or education. Others are passionately in love with their spouse or their babies. Some post amusing photos of cats. Some post their latest culinary success. Others post their feelings of disappointment and pain.

Many are Christians, a few are ex-Christians, I'm not sure that I have any atheist friends. Perhaps? They've never told me so. Some have no thought out religious beliefs, others are thinking all the time. 

I like my facebook friends. I like what each one contributes to the world and to my own life. We're all so different. We're all unique. Not one of us is like another.

I'm blessed to have facebook friends. And I'm going to try to pray for all of them more often than I do.