Today's daily devotion

Loving Touches

. . . a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.—ECCLESIASTES 3:5 [NKJV]

I stared at a poster on the bulletin board of Mom’s assisted living facility. “People need four caring touches a day to stay emotionally healthy.” Oh, my goodness. Mom barely received four loving touches a week. She got those when she felt well enough to attend church. Maybe five, if you counted the hug I gave her each Wednesday when I ate lunch with her. I doubted she received many touches from anyone else during the week. Her emotional gas tank must be running on fumes.

I tried to think of how I could add more loving touch to Mom’s life. We’d never been a huggy family. What could I do to help fill her heart with happiness and at the same time not make us both uncomfortable? The solution came to me almost by accident.

Because Mom’s hearing had declined over the last few years, I often had to get up close to her ear when we chatted. One day at lunch, instead of simply moving close, I put my arm around Mom’s shoulder, and this gave me the opportunity to touch her several times during each conversation. I sometimes even gently cupped her ear forward so she could hear better.

It wasn’t the recommended four caring touches a day, but it was a start. One that filled my emotional gas tank too.

Lord, help me remember this caregiving journey is not about what makes me comfortable. Please help me do whatever gives the most grace to my loved one.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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