Weekly Thought – October 6, 2020
Fred studied people. And along with daily research he enjoyed scientific and psychological work. He continually thought about what made people tick. His consulting business often focused on interaction among groups of people. His instincts were a clear part of his giftedness.
In light of the COVID restrictions, these thought from Fred significantly remind us of human touch. Although we may not apply them currently, we can file them away for future activation.
Hugs Are Important
One of my favorite subjects is therapeutic touch; I have been studying it for several years. I became interested because the President of the Sloan-Kettering Institute said to the American Medical Association during a lecture: “My father was a country doctor. He carried a little black medical valise. We know today that very little in that bag would fully heal anybody, but despite that, people got well. My Daddy put his hand on them and said, “You’re going to get well.” There is now an entire nursing association in New York City practicing therapeutic touch.
I did an interview for the University of Nebraska by telephone. It was the precursor to our teleconferences from my bed following my years of immobility. The students threw questions gat me. I loved the give and take. In preparation for the call, I read their student magazine. Included was a poem by Donna Swanson. It relates to touch and I included it.
When my Mother was 80 years old (on her way to 93) she began to get very wrinkled and was stooped over. It’s said old people miss tactile relationships with others because so many hesitate to touch them. I realized I stopped touching my Mother. Recognizing this, I started hugging her again – what a difference it made to her.
Let me share an excerpt from the poem titled Minnie Remembers by Donna Swanson.
“God, my hands are old; I’ve never said that out loud before, but they are. When did those slender, graceful hands become gnarled, shrunken claws… when, God?”
How long has it been since someone touched me? Twenty years? Twenty years since I’ve been a widow. Respected, smiled at, but never touched. Never held so close that loneliness was blotted out.
I remember how my mother used to hold me, God. Oh, God, I’m so lonely.
I remember the first boy who ever kissed me. I remember Hank and the babies. Out of the fumbling awkward attempts of new lovers came the babies. And Hank didn’t seem to mind if my body thickened and faded a little. He still loved it…and touched it. And the children hugged me a lot. Oh, God, I’m lonely!
God, why didn’t we raise the kids to be silly and affectionate as well as dignified and proper? They do their duty, they come to my room to pay their respects, but they don’t touch me. They call me Mom, or Mother, or Grandma.”
I was at a Christian conference in Kentucky when a frumpy little woman, almost square in shape, stood at the back, waiting for me to get through talking to others. Speakers always watch for that. If somebody stands and waits, they have something they want to say. She walked up to me, straightened up to her full five feet of height, and said, “Would you hug me?” “Of course I will.” I reached out and gave her a big hug. As she walked off I said to myself, “How long has that hug got to last? I knew – a long time.”
Consider carefully this week: 1) Even though physical hugs are unacceptable in this season, how can we express closeness to others? 2) Who needs a hug from our heart this week? ) What are the signs of physical deprivation?
Words of Wisdom: “I was very happy I relearned to touch my Mother.”
Wisdom from the Word: “When worries threaten to overwhelm me, your soothing touch makes me happy.” (Psalm 94:19 NET Bible)