#9 The Disappearing Act of Physical Affection

I’ve always been the sort of person who shrivels up to physical affection. I like to have my personal space. (I’m a words of affirmation kind of gal).

When someone says “I’m a hugger!” after introducing themselves, I typically panic and internally shout “but I’m not!” as I hold my breath and try not to be miserably awkward.

However, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic and physical touch has become a distant memory (to those of us who are taking it quite seriously).

Since creating a literal distance between myself and others, I’ve started to see the true, physical need for human touch.

In 1 Kings, Elijah had reached his breaking point, and God gave him three majorly important things: a nap, a snack, and an angel who gently touched him to awaken him.

We as humans need physical touch. Obviously, I’m snuggling my baby most of the day, and I’m blessed to be close to my husband during this time as well (as I know many are not).

But there are things that I took barely any notice of before all of this began that I pray fervently will be restored.

My dad patting my back as we say goodbye.

A handshake with a kind stranger after making small talk at the post office.

A real hug from my mom or my sister or my mother in law.

Alex’s sweet Mamaw squeezing my arm as she gushes over our Hazel girl.

Crying on the shoulder of friends or family during hard times.

Picking my nephews up and kissing their little heads as they wiggle to get away.

Letting my friends and relatives hold and play with Hazel.

Sharing in long awaited embraces from family I’ve not seen in months or years.

I get emotional as I write these out. All of these are seemingly small moments. Things that have happened dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of times. All suddenly gone without a trace.

Social media is great (not really, but it’s good during these lonely times), FaceTime is a major blessing, porch visits and distance picnics are a breath of fresh air. But nothing replaces the actual touch of the people we love.

So here’s hoping we can awkwardly hug again soon.


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