When Human Touch Makes All the Difference

Lavern is 98 years old. She’s under hospice care. Who wouldn’t need human touch at that moment in life. I walked into her room to see her lying in her bed. Her eyes were wide open. She was in a much perkier mood than the last time I saw her. The black and white war movie was blaring out of her TV. When she saw me she immediately smiled.

I sat down next to her bed. Then I handed her a little devotion book that she requested. Another smile came across her face. She opened it and started reading out loud Psalm 63: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you….” And her voice trailed off.

As it did she lifted her hand toward mine and gave it a touch. I knew she wanted to hold my hand so I cradled hers in mine. She looked intently at my hand and said: “You have a ring.”

I said: “Yes, I do.”

She said: “I don’t have one. But that’s all right. …You have a ring.”

I said: “It’s my wedding ring”

She asked: “How many years?”

I had to quickly count the years in my head, and said: “Almost thirty-two.”

She just smiled and sat there in silence holding my hand. She dropped her hand and began reading her little book once again. Then she looked at me and said: “I don’t have a ring.”

And I said: “That’s OK.”

Once again she took my hand again and sat there in silence with a smile on her face. This woman on her death bed was in need of simple human touch. I was glad to provide it.

After I left, out of curiosity I read the rest of Psalm 63. Here’s what I saw:

…I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Today I felt like a messenger of God sent to hold the hand of woman who’s lived nearly a century. I am unworthy. But sometimes human touch makes all the difference in life’s most monumental moments.

More than that, it is the right hand of the Almighty that holds her. And when her most monumental moment finally comes it will be His hand that ushers her home.

When has human touch meant the most to you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 thoughts on “When Human Touch Makes All the Difference

  1. Most recently, last night. My daughter was late coming home from work, and we were about to drive the route to her job to check if she broke down or got in a wreck on the way home.
    When she came in I peppered her with questions and chewed her out for not keeping me informed about working late.
    After I called down, I went to her room to tell her how worried her dad and I were. She gave me a hug and apologized for worrying us. That hug was just what I needed.

  2. Oh, yes, human touch is so important! Thank you for sharing this post. I’ll always remember the night before my Dad had his stroke, and subsequently passed away a few months later. As I had done many, many years before, I gave him a neck, back and foot massage. One of my early memories is giving my Dad a massage. I use to rub his feet, or “break” his neck. Often, he would give me a “nickel” afterward. He would return the soothing gesture too. On that night before his stroke, he told me “You don’t know how good that feels”. I’ve always been thankful that I could give him that “touch” comfort while he was in the midst of pain. I’ll never forget it and just wish I could have done more to relieve his pain. I crave a back or foot massage. The night my mother died, I was so very thankful to be with her and hold her hand, while my son stroked her hair until her last breath on this earth. That was a gift to be me to be with her as she breathed her last. I look forward to the day that I’m reunited with both of my parents and wonder what it will be like to touch them once again.