Linking up with http://www.Fiveminutefriday.com. The rules are: set a timer and free write for five minutes on word prompt, then share. (and yes, I know it is Saturday)
My mind immediately goes to some study I read about the importance of touch and how so many people do not get enough, especially the elderly. After reading it years ago I tried to be intentional with hugs and meaningful touch with the older people in my church, but as time went on I felt like God opened my eyes to see how many people go a long time without a touch. Widows, single people, and now in my current stage, I am seeing children and teens that do not get meaningful, appropriate contact very often. Some compensate with inappropriate contact with their peers either flailing about, or intimate stuff, but still there is that basic need we have as humans to have contact with each other.
This was brought home when my friends and I first started going into jail to lead a Bible study. We were told no physical contact. After the tour and first experience in a prison with the education and rules, especially something about tasers, I was definitely following that rule, no problem. But then I met the real women and spent time with them, listening to their hearts, and the cries of their souls, I needed to put my hand on them to comfort them and to pray over them. We asked permission first, and they always said yes.
Then at the end of our first Bible study we had shared so much of their hearts and ours and the Holy Spirit was making His presence known… there had to be hugs. These were human beings who needed meaningful, God honoring touch. The kind that validated their humanity. The kind they craved day in and day out. We did not have to initiate it. These women came over and just hugged, and then went back to their isolated protective day, but in that moment there was a connection and reminder of our shared humanity that no jail could take away.