Last year Wen and I adopted a senior in our community with a physical impairment due to a birth injury. Roy is now 74 and has lived his life compensating for these physical limitations. The latter years finds him living alone with his only means of transportation being a small John Deer tractor. The local law enforcement allows him to come and go by turning the other way. Roy's social life consists of lunch at the restaurant when weather permits, otherwise he lives on sausage, cheese and m&m's.
When we first met Roy he was preparing for a move from a mobile home to a senior apartment. I left him our phone number in case he needed help. On moving day one person showed up and we got the call. He's now living comfortably in a clean warm enviroment not far from his favorite restaurant. After helping him to get settled in we were preparing to leave when I reached over and put my hand on his shoulder. His reaction was to freeze up from the touch of this act of compassion.
Sometime later I was able to reflect on his response and realized it had been many years that anyone had shown him this kind of affection through a simple touch. I continued to express my friendship to him in this manner and soon he began to respond graciously. I thought to myself how many people, adults and children are starved for this expression of 'I care about you' touch.
We are a huggy, touchy family and I must admit I've always felt loved and appreciated by my family and husband but their are countless numbers like Roy who never experience the love touch. It could be in a hand shake, a hand on the arm or shoulder or a big hug and in these small ways it can affect the receiver for a lifetime. Roy was born with this impairment by a doctors mistake. He dropped out of school in the 9th grade, never had true loyal friends that would stick by him, never had a date, wife or children.
How often do we take these things for granted. I think of older children in orphanages throughout the country that never get adopted out. I think of children who have been abandoned by their parents or lost them through disaster or disease. I think of those who are living their lives alone and afraid and who will never experience the 'I care about you' touch. I also think about people like Roy who are innocent victims of accidents , mistakes or war that live out the rest of their lives with a handicap. It could be obesity, facial or body deformatives , addictions and physical impairments that this carnal and worldly society would classify them as misfits. However, inside those bodies is a whole person crying out for recognition and an 'I care about you' touch that makes them feel needed, wanted and loved.
It saddens me to know how much we fail as born again Christians to reach out to these hungry souls. We have the greatest teacher and role model that ever lived, died and rose again to show us how to love societys rejects. Jesus ministry was all about people like Roy. He healed the lepers, forgave the adultress, blessed the children, performed hundreds of acts of kindness then suffered and died on the cross because of his love for mankind. We have within us the ability to perform the same acts of kindness if we have Jesus. We are his hands and feet, mouth and ears that can hear the cry's from the love starved masses and go forth like Jesus. He completes his work through us if we allow Him to. He is the author of Love and can teach us how to do it his way. What the world needs now is a simple Jesus touch that says ' I care and love you very much'. If you don't have him in your life, confess your need for him and invite him to come in and live with you forever. He will change your life, give you new direction and give you strength to carry on.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
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