it is so much easier to see the lack when you are surrounded by someone else that has the abundance you lack. maybe it’s money or food or community or whatever the thing might be. something i have noticed lately is the lack of touch in my life.
being single can be hard but as i have grown in my relationship with Jesus, it has become immensely easier. i have learned how to do life with God. i have learned how to let Him by my best friend. the community that i was created for when they are there is simply icing on the cake!
but there is something that i can’t get from God no matter how hard i try…physical touch. i have told Him often that if He just had skin on i could be single forever….i could very well just hermit myself away and be with Him. but alas, He doesn’t currently have skin on. that is what He gave community for.
recently in my class to become a spiritual director we did a guided imagery exercise. this has become one of my favorites as God continues to meet me and wreck me! in the exercise Jesus asked us what we wanted…i couldn’t think of anything at first. after a minute or two i decided what i wanted was more of Him so that i wouldn’t need anyone else. His response shocked me a little.
I don’t give you more of me so that you will interact with others less but so that you can love them even more.
i can assure you, that is not what i wanted to hear. i can assure you that is not what i expected to hear. it was the most gentle gut punch. i knew He was right. again He reminded me that we were created for community. it is through community that He meets needs.
but sometimes the need goes unmet.
i have noticed that so often i feel like a starving child who is sitting beneath a kings table. while he eats all the delicacies and food his heart desires, i sit at his feet, hoping for some crumbs to fall, knowing that it won’t satisfy my hunger but at least it will take away the pain for a moment.
the crumbs for me are physical touch. i see parents hug their kids. husbands hold their wives. couples holding hands. friends scratching each others’ backs. it’s beautiful! we were meant to be touched! but where does that leave the single woman. even as i write the pain is so real that it causes tears to swell in my eyes…in public.
while my heart may need touch i know my responsibility is to ask for what i need. no one can read my mind. your responsibility is to ask for what you need. regardless of what it is. we live in a culture that has lost the art of friendship. part of friendship is meeting each others needs along with celebrating with each other and doing life with each other.
so all the while i see affection all around me, i get to step into the discomfort of humbling myself to ask for what i need. and it is in that humility and vulnerability where others begin to ask for what they need. but only in that place of knowing that none of of us are mind readers can we genuinely and lovingly do friendship.
what is it that you need in your life? how are you reaching out to ask for it?