So, I have started 4 different blog entries now… but keep thinking of this especially after my last blog about Open Wounds (and healing). I need to prepare to be TOUCHED (and express that need). TOUCH can be a physical touch to a person or physical action (to touch someone’s heart / emotions / feelings). For instance when we tell people to “keep in touch” (meaning via email, facebook, phone call). Or the commercial, reach out and touch someone (meaning take a moment and call someone). As a nurse, I believe that patients I cared for TOUCHED my life forever and would hope I TOUCHED their lives beyond the care I provided. But the ultimate TOUCH is the intentional brush of the hand, the holding of hands, a sincere hug, the arm around your waist, etc. from someone you love.
However, when my heart is hardened or I have an open wound of hurt, I learned that I build a wall. This is truly pretty new to me because I generally let things roll off my back. The other interesting thing is that even though I am a great talker (a genetic gift from my mom and grandma), I am not always a great communicator. It is times like this I wish I was more like Sam – if you say to Sam “what is wrong”, you get an honest answer. He may not provide many details but it is the honest answer. For a few weeks, Jim could tall something was “brewing” and would say “What’s wrong” and I would reply, “nothing” (maybe I should call this prepare to be honest). I went through the motions of life – I got the kids to school, basic chores done, made it to work, church, etc…
The longer the hurt went the bigger the wall, the thicker the wall, I lined it with barbed wire and then added electric to the fence, and built a moat filled with man eating alligators… I think many others have been there – hurt by someone you love. The wall was initially there to keep out one person, but soon kept out everyone. The wall separated me from what I needed most – TOUCH (physical and emotional). Yes I still got the hugs from the kids, the kiss on the cheek from Jim, but all the while I didn’t feel the touch.
The interesting thing in hindsight is that I wanted people to TOUCH ME but I was NOT willing to reach out to touch them. Isn’t that human nature, we want everyone to reach out to touch us, but we don’t want to reach out to them. So, this week I finally let the door of my wall cracked and I reached out over lunch – finally a moment alone. I spilled my guts of what was going on and how I felt… I got the “deer in the headlight” look. He had NO idea and definitely did not view the situation the way I had. He did not intentionally mean to hurt me. People who LOVE YOU do not intentionally mean to hurt you. I was also responsible – I didn’t reach out and TOUCH HIM sooner. It all could have been solved with me doing the reaching out first – by answering honestly to “What is wrong”.
That happens in everyday life — people get hurt because they are waiting for someone to reach out to them.
* I think a friend should reach out to be in TOUCH with me, when in fact they are waiting for me to TOUCH them – maybe through a text, a call, a card, etc.. I just need to make the first touch.
* The private messages in facebook I love – they TOUCH me to think someone is thinking of me personally and took the moment to let me know. (A card in the mail is like Christmas because it is even a bigger effort). I have a friend whose fiancé writes to his elderly mother EVERY MORNING and sends a small postcard or card EVERY DAY. He wants her to know he is thinking of her and he wants her to get mail everyday (she is in another state in a personal care home). That is TOUCHING to her and the
* How many times could a disagreement with someone been solved so much sooner if I tear down the wall (or at least open the door a crack to let them come in) so they can TOUCH me or I can reach out to touch them. If a wall is built they can’t penetrate it!
* Acknowledge the little touches – the friendly cashier… reach out and touch someone else – let a person out in front of you, hold the door, offer to help a person in a wheelchair or an elderly person who can’t reach the top shelf at the grocery store…
* I think of the hair dresser who cut Sam’s hair. I sent a thank you note to her and her employer because she TOUCHED us and I wanted her to know and I wanted her acknowledged by her boss. How many times do I not acknowledge the importance of those who TOUCH my life? TOO MANY!!!
Touch isn’t always a physical action – it can be an emotional action – it is the reaching out to make a difference. I have to prepare to be touched and prepare to touch others.
I think of powerful songs from my Christian Upbringing – He Touched Me by the Gaithers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1g9tH2osQQ) still gives me goosebumps.
Powerful Bible Stories of the Woman who just wanted to TOUCH the hem of Jesus garment as she knew the power of the touch – She had heard of Jesus and when she saw He was near she joined in the throng of people following Him as He made His way to Jarius’ house. She said within herself,“ If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” ( Matt. 9: 21)