Brain scientists say the brain sits in the dark, silent box of the skull unaware of what is going on until the five senses send their information there to be interpreted. The church, trying to share its messages of love, concern and hope, has long depended upon the visual and auditory pathways to get our message to people. The result? Mounds of books, millions of sermons, shelves full of songbooks.

A word-lover myself, I hate to admit this, but words often fail in settings when a more tangible expression of care is what is needed: a hot meal beleaguered caregivers did not have to make for themselves, a back rub for a person managing stress, a foot massage for an isolated person denied the comfort of human touch. As young David realized when he saw King Saul at wit’s end, the brain under stress doesn’t need a book to read about managing stress. It needs soft light, calming music, the aroma of flowers, food, candles, and other assuring fragrances of interpersonal support.

Thanks to your love, generosity and hard work, this month our homebound members and caregivers were given multi-sensory expressions of the love of God through the church. Our Visitation Team’s visits to our 80 homebound members were accompanied by seasonally-ripened summer peaches, and 30 of our members who bear a heavy load of caregiving responsibilities were given chair massages, relaxing stretch-and-breath exercises, art supplies and games, the happy mood-altering affection of therapy dogs, meditative labyrinth walks, and a delicious meal for which they didn’t have to cook or clean.

Needless to say, those who did all the caring and comforting were blessed in still other, word-defying ways. This makes me wonder: What do you need this season? Is it some form of wordless comfort? Do you need some opportunity to offer care from the overflow of a grateful heart? Either way, please share it with your church. It’s what we do.


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