God’s gift of touch

Journal entry by Loretta Beyer — March 9, 2021

Since I am a person for whom words of affirmation and physical touch are my primary love languages, I have been thinking recently about the many things that offer me tactile consolation.

On top of my list, of course, are hugs from anyone and everyone, but particularly from my husband.

When we were first married, he remarked, “You and your family hug in the beginning, and in the middle, and at the end.”

He came from a family who were not physically demonstrative, whereas, with our artistic Hungarian roots, we are thoroughly immersed in that concept. Daryl quickly learned to adapt, as have many other friends and acquaintances over the years. Daryl and I always hold hands and love to snuggle. Thank you, Dear!

The natural extension of that is to take full advantage of God’s gift to us with the warm fuzzy feline friends with which He has blessed us. That would extend to dogs for many, also. I always said that all I ever wanted out of life was a lap cat, and I have two, except Ebony had to move elsewhere the night after we discovered she had inhaled and shredded my oxygen line. Never fear, she is living high as a princess with friends, eating them out of house and home, particularly when it comes to chicken.

Did you know it is scientifically proven that, when someone pets an animal, the blood pressure of both the human and the creature goes down? A drug-free, guaranteed way to help control that. Animals seem to know instinctively when something is amiss and crawl into your lap and offer great comfort.

Another item I am seldom without is my bean bag, filled with corn kernels, sewn inside a tartan flannel sack, which, when heated, (which I have my helpers do multiple times a day), eases the discomfort I usually feel along my right flank from all the swelling. I am so thankful for the thoughtful friend who provided that amazing and thoughtful gift. Heat and warmth can bring so much relief and that little jewel has been worth its weight in gold.

Another unique gift for which I am grateful is what’s called “The Clinging Cross,” which is a specifically formed cross that fits easily in the palm of your hand, that one can just hold and meditate on all that it means and represents. No words necessary, just a good time to “Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10, King James Version).”

That which was originally designed to be a terrible instrument of torture, through the power of His mighty resurrecting power, God transformed into the most redeeming, consoling symbol of His love and power.

My Bible that sits right next to my bed is a huge source of comfort to me for all issues in life. When I am distressed, to read or have someone read aloud from His Word calms me right down, because everything in life will change, but His Word will never change, for it is the Living Word.

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The same God who spoke this world into existence through the power of His spoken Word is the same God today and will be tomorrow.

I keep a physical, paper copy of my Bible next to me, because I love the feel of the pages between my fingers. God gave us the gift of the five senses, and, while they are all a blessing, those have become especially dear to me recently.

Find what “floats your boat,” or that of your friends and family, and then fan the flame with gratitude.

Someone recently quipped that I have discovered and honed a fine skill, the sixth sense, that of “purring.” Whenever someone rubs my feet or back, I always say that “I am purring,” which is the highest compliment I can pay you!

Isaiah 41:13: “I will hold you always in the palm of my hand.”

This column is published posthumously with permission from the family. Missionary kid Loretta Beyer grew up in Zimbabwe. After graduating college in the U.S. with a degree in music and psychology, she joined her parents in Alpena, because of terrorist warfare in her African home. Over the last 40 years, she has made Alpena her place of ministry.


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