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The Power of Touch
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Recently, Mark and I were riding home from church. Sometimes we are chatty, and sometimes we are quiet. This time we were rather silent, which is fine as we are comfortable just riding together. As we were riding, however, I felt his hand on my leg. Thinking he was getting my attention, I asked, "Did you want to say something?"

"No," he said, warmly. "I just wanted to touch you."

It isn't a strange thing for my husband to touch me, but somehow at that moment I felt a surge of security that warmed my heart. In fact, I got a little teary. Then I thought of other examples of love shown in just a touch. Like the way my grown son rubs the top of my head as he walks by. Or the way a good friend offers a hug at just the moment of need. We should never underestimate the power of touch. It is a human expression that carries the same power from newborn to young adult to middle age to the last hours of life.

Here are five ways to consider using touch to communicate:

1. Let your touch do your talking. There is a time for words, but sometimes a simple gesture of touch can say more than a well-planned speech. For example, if someone is grieving, we naturally want to be able to say something that will help ease the pain. But if you find yourself speechless, a gentle hand on the shoulder or hug may be what the person needs more than anything.

2. Hold your children. Hold your grandchildren. Hold other people's children. Granted, there are times when our society has forced adults to be cautious about too much physical affection toward children for fear of being accused of misconduct. But even in those situations, a simple touch on the shoulder can give a message of acceptance, encouragement, and love.

3. Touch the elderly. Think for a moment how many people they have touched in their years of life. Perhaps you are one of them. Don't be hesitant to return that gift.

4. Touch animals! People who are involved in animal therapy will give endless examples of how valuable animals are in providing contact comfort to people of all ages. Especially if the person is not around a lot of people on a daily basis. Touching animals is a two-way blessing because the pet usually appreciates it and is happy to return the gift of touch.

5. Touch nature and let it touch you. It is a blessing to see the beauty of nature, but to actually touch it gives us a bond with nature and with the One who created it. Touch the soil, feel the velvet texture of flower petals, hold your face to the sun and feel the healing warmth enter your body and mind. Go ahead, hug a tree!

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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