By Bob Simpson
BCM/D Associate Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and Editor of BaptistLIFE
February has always seemed like an odd month to me, nestled in between dark January and blustery March at least in the Northeast where I live and write this. It’s that strange time between football’s playoffs and the beginning of baseball’s spring training.
February is known as the “Love Month.” Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on Feb. 14 each year.
As a child growing up in the late ’50s and early ’60s, early Valentine’s Day memories were of the big decorated box in our grade school classroom that became the repository of little envelopes from friends. I learned early that the number of Valentine cards that one received measured one’s popularity.
As I got older, it became all about romance and that special someone in my life. The commercialism surrounding the holiday grew to epic proportions, as did sales of chocolate, red roses and romantic greeting cards.
February is also National Heart Month. The heart is my favorite part of the body. It’s where we feel love. Everyone wants and needs love. It is the universal medium of exchange. Is there anything more satisfying than being fully present in the moment, with the people that we care about?
I read about a woman who told her husband, “Bill, I’ve been watching that young married couple across the street. Every morning when the husband leaves the house he kisses his wife good-bye, and every evening when he gets home he kisses her again and hugs her affectionately. Now why can’t you do that?” Bill replied, “Well, honey, I can’t do that. I hardly know her.”
He missed the point, but a lot of us miss the point. Best-selling author, Gary Chapman, reminds us in his book The Five Love Languages that there are five love languages that human beings use to communicate their love. While all people enjoy each of these languages to some degree, a person will usually speak one primary language. One of those five is ‘physical touch.’
Loving words and actions reach faster and go farther when they are delivered live. In Mark 3:10 it says, “All who had diseases were pressing toward Him to touch Him.”
Now I realize that some people are “huggers” and some are not. But I’m sure that Jesus was one. He knew the power of an appropriate, human-to- human, affectionate touch. Make a point this month…this week…this day to hug your parents, your spouse, your kids, your grandkids or even a good friend who needs a warm hug from you! They will not always be there for you to hug.