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The power of touch

For the past 10 months the sense of touch has been severely limited. We have never seen anything like this. I was led to believe that touch was essential to our being. After all, when babies are born the first thing they remember is being held.

Studies have been done with babies and touch. Some were left untouched while others experienced the normal amount of touching. Those that were untouched experienced a delay in development. That certainly says something about touch.

While I recognize that being “untouched” is for our own benefit, I do not condone it. I fear that the residents within our facilities are being mistreated in a misguided way. I do not know the answer here, but I do not believe that they have been safer by the isolation. Many facilities are still experiencing many cases of COVID – even with all of the precautions.

Hands are special. They are the things at the ends of our arms that are the closest thing to the hands of God. Hands used properly are beneficial. Holly Dunn years ago had a song titled “Daddy’s Hands”.

Here are the words to the chorus:

“Daddy’s hands

Were soft and kind when I was crying

Daddy’s hands

Were hard as steel when I’d done wrong

Daddy’s hands

Weren’t always gentle but I’ve come to understand

There was always love in daddy’s hands.”

She admitted in the song that Daddy’s hands were not always gentle, but they nurtured and guided. Our daughter chose that song for her dance with her father at her wedding. There was hardly a dry eye in the place — for everyone who knew the song reacted.

At my volunteer stations hands are the ministrations of love and comfort to all who need it. Hands bring meals. Hands straighten bedding. Hands feed those who cannot feed themselves. Hands find the things that the patient needs. Hands hold books to be read to patients. Hands hold hands in empathy.

Even at home hands are the blessings that are part of our care. My hands minister my love. They do whatever is necessary to make my family more comfortable. I have done things that I never thought I would do, but have done them with love for those who needed the care.

While I know that in some places, hands are not messengers of care, but of harm, my heart aches for anyone who is mistreated. People who are beaten have had hands used in a different manner, in a bad way. Hands were not meant for that. I feel sorry for those who have experienced fear and injury by another’s hands. God never intended for that to happen.

Hands are the things that show our love and caring. They are gentle. They are caring. They feel so good when used the way the Lord intended. Who does not like a hand that shows love and caring? Who does not love the feel of someone comforting you when you are down and out? Hugs are also something of the past that I truly miss. A hug conveys a lot. I long to be able to grab someone and give them a hug.

I think back to the dark days when my husband was ill. The family did everything that it could to make him comfortable. We used our hands the way God intended. Some administered shots. Some brought food. Some just held his hand while he slept.

I am sure Don feels the same way. He was faithful to his wife right to the end caring for her as needed. His care lasted for years.

Please remember that hands are an extension of the love of Christ. He often used his hands to minister to others. He healed the lepers. He healed the crippled. He healed the blind. He loosed the tongue of those who were not able to talk.

As we all quarantine at home use your hands for good.

Let these hard times be times that make the family stronger. Enjoy the time that you have. Watch television together. Look at movies. Play games. Go for walks. Explore nature. We are not chained to our homes. We are allowed outdoors, just not with others who do not live with us.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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