Yesterday, I sent out my periodic email Blog Alert to friends. I do this every 2 or 3 months so as not to pester people. (Not everyone checks my blog compulsively every day 😕 ) Since I’ve recently changed my email to a Gmail address, I decided to use Gmail for this bulk mailing for the first time. The problem was that I imported all 1,500 of my previous contacts from the past 10 years and didn’t prune them. Many were from my Marriage Moments and Parenting Pointers lists that I now manage through a separate account. Result? I received about 300 bounced addresses. Many of these are people I never personally knew but many were former colleagues in family ministry across the country. I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and at least delete the addresses that bounced.

It was a sobering experience. Each time I deleted a name of a person I knew, I wondered if they had moved, quit their job, retired, or maybe even died. I wondered if the married couples were still married. It was like going through an old scrap book and having a bitter/sweet experience of calling to mind people I had shared ministry with, wondering what had happened to them, but being happy to clean out defunct addresses. What happens to all those people we lose contact with through life? It’s impossible to keep close to everyone (According to Dunbar’s Number, human beings have enough mental space to keep track of only 150 meaningful relationships.) but still, people move and change. Hmmm.