Phillip Yancey says, "God's arms are always extended; we are the ones who turn away." All weekend I have been thinking about touch. I come from a family of touchy-feely people....and I don't mean that in a perverted sense. My mom's family are all huggers. We love to hug. We hug when we are sad, happy, glad to see you....or just because we think you need one. I grew up in this family....and am all about hugging. I think a hug can cure anything. We are not just huggers though....we are massagers. When we get together....we sit around and rub each other's shoulders....my cousins Missi and Linda are the best shoulder massagers ever. There is something about being with people you love and having the stresses that are stuck too you eased away by the loving hands of someone. My daughter, Kat is 31 and I still love to hug her, hold her hand...it gives me great pleasure to do this....and it makes us both smile. She is a hugger too....check out her blog, Zambeste, and you will see. Back to me...I love to touch wood. I love to see a beautifully done piece of furniture or art....and run my hands over it. I love the snesory skills. But....everyone does not like to be touched.....for whatever reason. I have a friend....who did NOT grow up in a house of touch...and I remember very well the first time I hugged her (uninvited). I felt as if I was holding an ice sculpture. I immediately released her and moved out of her intimate space....and did not return for many years. Oh, we remained friends.....I just did not attempt to hug her again. One day I discussed my touchy-feelyness with her and she explained her position.....When my mother-in-law died....she actually let me hug her when she went through the receiving line. I was shocked....she did not feel like an ice sculpture....and she actually closed her arms across my back and squeezed lightly. I knew there was hope. Later in our journey of friendship....she actually hugged me first...and it was an awesome hug! Come on people....God wired us for touch! Even the medical profession will tell you that touch can save your life. Jesus liked to touch people. He would embrace, nod, touch, and even hugged a leper. He performed many healing miracles. One of my favorite miracles he performed is found in John 9:1-11 when Jesus rubbed paste made from clay on a blind man's syes and he SEES! Jesus used His hands and healed people...can't we use ours and touch a life? You never know when that person is starving for some human contact...skin to skin. In Lisa Harper's new book, "Stumbling Into Grace"( a must read) she has questions at the end of each story/chapter. One of the chapters is on touch and the first few questions are, "On a scale of 1 - 10 how comfortable are you with physical affection - one is ice queen and ten is hugging fool. What would you say your favorite (nonsexual) form of physical affection is? Who gets most of your hugs?" If you are a hugger....or semi-hugger....hug someone today. If you are not a hugger....shake someones hand. Hey...it is still touch! Happy Monday and to quote Women of Faith's, Lisa Harper, "Get Your Squeeze On!"
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.