by Amy Jandrisevits
If I asked for a show of hands, I’m guessing that many of us, over the course of the last week, have laughed out loud (LOL’d), cyber-hugged someone, or smiled via emoticons (those cute faces made with punctuation marks).
We probably did this without leaving our computer because those don’t require face-to-face contact, right? In fact, the Internet lets us keep in contact with people all over the world with the click of a button. We are more in touch with people online than we were 10 years ago. But, ironically, our ability to keep in touch has actually made us more out of touch than ever before.
Humans need touch
The power of touch can be comforting. It can heal. And it connects us in ways that computers and electronic devices can’t. But during this pandemic, it’s difficult to embrace those who are not in our immediate families.
We know that people heal faster when they’re touched. We know that the lack of touch in babies can impair development. We know that the elderly can suffer from touch deprivation even when they are surrounded by people all day long.
We know that Jesus liked to touch people. There are Bible stories where he healed people from afar—so it was something that he could do. But time and time again, we read about how Jesus physically touched people. He even touched those that no one else would.
If you can’t reach out and touch someone, who in your life might benefit from hearing you laugh out loud? Who needs to hear someone say “I’m thinking about you?” Take your lead from Jesus, our model of healing and comfort. What are some ways you can give someone a virtual hug?
Amy Jandrisevits has a doll business for children with limb differences. This modified Throwback Thursday blog first ran as a blog in September 2015, and it was a Give Us This Day column in Gather magazine in 2014.