My timeline says I joined Facebook on July 26, 2007. I had to look it up, because I had no clue how long I had been present with this media.

Since the day I started my own page, I have come to appreciate the fascinating technology and have actually become very grateful for a good, dependable way of keeping up with friends and family who otherwise would have been lost in the shuffles of decades and geography.

Grateful, yes. Appreciative, for sure.

But mainly, I’m astonished.

Astonished that there are so many friends with whom we have shared the YouthCUE passion over the past three decades! Some of these early “kids” are actually just a few years younger than I, having already passed the half-century mark and moved far above and beyond me in their musical careers and nonmusical vocations. Other friends are much younger – I do mean MUCH younger – having, at age 12 or 13, just gotten permission from their parents to open their own Facebook accounts. To my aging eyes, they look more like babies.

Astonished to watch FB light up at particular times … as it did just yesterday when the horrific news of Boston Marathon bombing began to emerge. Present and former YouthCUE students from all across North America come online to comfort themselves and each other by remembering the great music they sang together at festivals, International Choruses, and in other powerful YouthCUE settings.

Craig Courtney’s “Be Not Afraid.”

Allen Pote’s “The Lord Is My Shepherd.”

Mary McDonald’s “Sing and Be Not Silent.”

Mack Wilberg’s “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” 

Cindy Berry’s “Restore My Joy.”

Claude Bass’ “Cast Thy Burden Upon the Lord.”

John Rutter’s “Be Thou My Vision.”

Astonished that the list of titles and the parade of composers goes on and on … along with the cloud of witnesses forming who has sung this music and has had life-changing, eternity-enriching experiences because of the memory of it all.

Astonished that what we do as youth choir directors is so awesomely relevant for meeting the spiritual needs of today’s students, tomorrow’s adults, the future’s professionals, leaders, churches, communities, and families.

Astonished that we can all sing our lines and become a part of a beauty that transcends all the challenges, difficulties, and broken dreams of today. It’s “strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.”

Astonished indeed.

And grateful beyond words.