Touch is so important to our health and well-being. Think about the times when you’ve felt sad or alone and a hug from a friend made you feel better. In many ways, touch is our first language.
Now that we are distancing ourselves from others during the coronavirus pandemic, we are being told not to touch or shake hands. For our safety, we are not to hug or hold hands. We are to keep a minimum of six feet away from others, removed from any kind of contact.
A pastor friend called, and before long he let me know he had been quarantined for fourteen days. He was miserable.
“I miss shaking hands,” he said. “I miss giving hugs and holding the hand of friends as we pray.”
But despite the talk of restrictions, our conversation changed from being unable to share physical touch to talking about how we were free as God’s people to share God’s amazing touch.
We miss you! Not having friends and volunteers visit Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) facilities is heart breaking –– but necessary for us all to remain safe. We miss you coming, cooking hotdogs on a grill, and playing baseball with our boys and girls. We miss playing corn hole when your Sunday School class visits or comes to teach our residents crafts. We miss the great monthly birthday parties you generously provide. We miss the devotions, Bible studies and worship times we share. We miss your smiling faces and your warm hugs.
Spring is especially hard. We miss the thousands of volunteers that attend our Friends of Children events. We miss our biker friends’ Ride to Clyde event and the thunder roar of motorcycles. We miss the wonderful aromas of barbecue wafting through the mountain air during the annual barbecue festival at Broyhill Home. We miss the big trucks making their way across the state to deliver the food collected during the annual Food Roundup.
We miss you.
In Mark 10:16, we read about a special kind of touch –– a loving touch! “And he took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.”
Jesus acknowledged the children’s presence and their importance. But His touch was life transforming. Through your loving care, prayer and financial support, you take the children up in your arms, like Jesus did, and bless them in His name –– changing their lives.
My heart is overwhelmed and full of gratitude. Because of your generous love, those in our care will not miss the touch of your blessing. In fact, you have blessed us to our core. Because of your generosity, you enable us to reach thousands with God’s love and blessing.
In the midst of this pandemic crisis, you have not stopped touching lives and being a blessing. During the Easter celebration, we heard you loud and clear: “He is alive! He is alive in me!” You proclaimed your faith by living out God’s call to care for “the least of these.”
Erica was one of the least of these.
“I grew up with one brother and two sisters. I was the baby. I was a lonely child ever since I was old enough to walk, talk and understand conversation. Both my parents are hooked on drugs. There was little food. We were grateful for the food we ate at school.
We lived in our truck for a while and then moved to a hotel room. We barely survived.”
Neglect and domestic violence was normal for Erica until she came to BCH and found hope through God’s touch and His blessing. He transformed her from
a frightened, angry girl who had dealt with the horrors of drugs and violence into a precious, beautiful young lady –– one who is able now to sleep through the night without nightmares.
During these days of living with COVID-19, Dr. Blackwell has begun referring to BCH as “an oasis of hope in a sea of uncertainty.” Children like Erica are safe here. Their lives are less chaotic despite the chaos swirling around us all.
At a time when we must be courageous and bold, we know that the future is secure because God goes before us. Your partnership and commitment –– your touch –– is sound. Your faithful touch, your blessing enables us to be “an oasis of hope.” And we are forever grateful. Thank you!
Leave a legacy through planned giving. Visit www.bchlegacy.org.
Article Written by Brenda B. Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications