Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Importance of Touch

This morning, a friend, Tyler, messaged me. I thought nothing of it, though we hadn't talked in awhile. Then I asked how he was, and his response told me that there was a reason he had reached out to me this morning. Last night, a friend of his committed suicide. I froze as a chill ran through my entire body.

Let me back up here for a minute. I "met" Tyler through my personal blog shortly after attempting suicide. I told Ty the whole story, even though he was essentially a stranger, and his Christian perspective, even from thousands of miles away, was a big step on the road to recovery for me. So, when he lost someone he loved to suicide, I wanted to help.

I have composed several texts. Some simply said "I'm sorry" over and over again. Some attempted to explain that his friend didn't do it to hurt him and likely didn't think Ty would be hurt anyway. Some offered the thought that the suffering of this world was over for his friend, and that heaven is coming for those left to grieve. I haven't sent any of them. Nothing I can say is enough. To be honest, nothing I can find in the Bible is enough. (Yes, I realize how controversial that idea is, particularly on a Christian ministry blog.) Sometimes, pain is just beyond words.

There is something you can do, though. I remember reading somewhere that the average person needs at least eight positive physical touches per day in order to be healthy. Think about it - how often do you give or receive positive physical touch each day? We each have a responsibility: offer positive touch. However, I would also challenge you to ask for positive touch from trusted people in your life.

Today, I pledge to ask for and offer at least one positive touch. It's not much, but it's a start. What will you do? (And I sincerely hope that someone who actually knows Ty in person reads this and offers him a hug.)