Growing up, my parents never let me say I was starving. It’s true, I have access to food, I do not have a distended belly and red hair from malnutrition. I have eaten in the past 24 hours, (even in the past 72, and I still wouldn’t be, and that’d be fasting anyway.) I am not starving. It still rubs me the wrong way when I hear someone say that they are starving. Obviously, they are not. They may be very hungry, even about to faint (or pass out), but not starving.
Saying that, I’m starving.
But not for food, instead, I’m starving for touch. And you can stop those thoughts right there, not in a particularly intimate way, but just merely in that I am living and working this summer with strangers. I can go an entire day without having a single bit of physical contact. And even if I do, it’s not much past a handshake. Being skin-starved is a actual medical condition. Consider the touch therapy that arises out of treating AIDS and cancer patients. I didn’t used to think that I needed people, or touch. I used to despise being touched, but that was more often when LOL’s would come and pet my head (“Oh what soft hair!” Get your hands off, woman!). In college I didn’t know how to get to the point of getting hugs, and in reality, I was probably starved then, too.
But with the wisdom that arises from age and experience, I have learned the power of basic human touch. And that I need it.
So, in an honest effort to strive in being more healthy, I have begun doing things like dancing. Which is what I went to do last night. Because I was in dire straights. I was craving human contact. It’s odd, really. I wonder how I even survived before. When I lived at home, I could go and sit next to my family, and wish them good night. But it is akin to torture to make us go live away from each other and expect us to have fruitful ministries, as we live starving for connections.
Unfortunately, I have no solutions. Just pointing out a problem.