hands

“The best sense in our body is that of touch. We feel, we love,
we hate, we become irritable or we are emotionally moved,
all through the little organs of touch in our skin.”
~ J. Lionel Taylor

For reasons outside of my control, my husband and I have been living in separate states for over 3 1/2 years. Also beyond my control was an unfamiliar, wearisome, and lonely position I’d been given of “single mom” to four girls.

Needless to say, it’s been both physically and emotionally exhausting. And even that quick sentence carries more depth and weight than I’d ever be able to articulate.

My physical body aches. It’s stiff and it hurts. And what I’ve come to realize recently, is that a lack of touch has caused my body to harden.

Touch keeps us tender.

To touch can be to give life. ~ Michelangelo.

I so deeply yearn to be touched. To be held in a tight, warm, loving cocoon of an embrace. An embrace that soothes my soul, softens my body, and makes me forget about the world for a few short minutes.

Study after study shows the importance of touch:

  • Preemie babies who receive just three 15-minute sessions of touch therapy each day for 5-10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who’d received standard medical treatment.
  • An overwhelming percentage of babies in orphanages where caretakers starved them of touch have failed to grow to their expected height or weight, and have shown behavioral problems.
  • Touch signals safety and trust, it soothes.
  • Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress.

Even primates understand the importance of touch. They spend about 10 to 20 percent of their waking day grooming each other!

I did something recently that I haven’t done in a very long time . . . I booked a massage for myself. I was so excited I could almost feel the tension in my shoulders being released when I hung up the phone!

As I talked with the therapist and discussed my areas of concern {back, neck, and shoulders}, I couldn’t wait to get started. I climbed into the heated blankets, snuggled in, and breathed a deep sigh of relief and anticipation.

In came the therapist. “Alright, here we go . . . Calgon, take me away!” And then I heard something I hadn’t heard before at the start of a massage. Latex. And that snapping, swooshing, rubbery, crinkly, doctory sound that gloves make.

“Huh?” I thought. “What the heck is happening?” And sure enough, I was getting my massage with gloved hands. Even now, my shoulders are tensing up at the thought of it.

I went in seeking relaxation and stress-relief. I left feeling uncomfortable and awkward. Almost like I was unworthy, unwanted . . . unclean. During the massage, my mind was in overdrive analyzing the situation and why I felt the way I did.

Basically, it came down to one simple truth . . . I yearned to be touched. And gloved, massaging hands absolutely did not do the trick!

God has created a desire in each of us to be touched. Human touch is proven to bring emotional stability and greater health. The gospels share story after amazing story of Jesus using His hands–His touch–to heal, bring comfort, and even raise the dead.

The past couple of months, as I’ve been contemplating my sudden awareness of lack of touch, the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ robe has come to me time and again. She knew a physical touch of His robe would heal her. Faith? Most definitely. But it was also the physical touch of His robe.

Have you ever had a time when you needed Jesus to be right here on earth?

Maybe you wanted a solid answer, or perhaps needed direction on a decision that’s been haunting you. You think you know what God is telling you to do, but oh! if He were sipping a coffee across from you, and you could hear the words directly from His lips.

Or maybe you’re wearisome, lonely, and in desperate need of a Fatherly hug. Sure, you have faith like the woman who touched His robe, but oh! to feel His arms around you.

“Hold me Jesus ‘cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace”
~ Big Daddy Weave

I suspect one of you–married or not–might yearn to be touched. Please rest in the blessed assurance that our Heavenly Father–whose arms reach as far as the east to the west–sees you, loves you, prays for you, and promises you an eternal lifetime of Fatherly hugs. He is our King of glory and our Prince of Peace. We can find comfort and rest in knowing it’s He who will sustain us.

bread-of-life

Michelangelo said, “To touch can be to give life.”

But Jesus is the Bread of life.

Do you yearn for a physical touch?

How can I pray for you today?

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