Is this 21st century touch?
The receiving line at church is like speed dating but pastoral care. It's speed pastoral care. I shake hands, hug and/or smile to 60 consecutive people, all carrying their lives with them. Most of the time it's a ministry of touch. Did you know that for some people the only time they are touched is during church on Sunday either at the passing of the peace or in the receiving line after service? Each person comes through the line, smiling at me, greeting me and waiting for me to smile and greet them.
We touch. Hand to hand. Cheek to cheek. Shoulder to shoulder. Face to face. I have mere seconds to look into their eyes for clues or emotion. Mere seconds to remember that they asked for prayers for their mother or that they have a procedure pending or a sister about to have a baby. Mere seconds to connect the knowledge that I have of them to the touch that I'm about to give to them.
Most of the time it's just needed or wanted touch. Touch. We don't touch a lot in our culture. Honestly, we don't. And we're getting less and less the more we have to regulate touch in public places. This article says that one of the growing professions over the next decade will be the massage therapist. That's not surprising – in a world in need of touch with rarer and rarer opportunities for touch, enter the massage therapist.
But not all massage therapists are equal. Take mine for example - I was talking to her about some new clients that she has. She's expanded her practice to offer some appointments at the new Wellness Center in town. Her clients presented with a variety of illness or issues. She loves a hard case. She loves to work toward healing and wholeness in people's lives. Not all massage therapists are like that.
I won't name names but we all know the places that offer memberships – well, that's not the same kind of massage as going to someone who has taken care to further their education in the healing arts. Not all massage therapists are equal.
What I look for in a massage therapist:
What is this blog about?
These are some of the reflections that I am fashioning into a memoir about coming to peace with my husband's diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.