When I travel, I love to run and people watch as I go. A few days ago I was out for a run on the sandy beaches of Tampa, Florida. Yep, February, Florida, 70 plus degree temps. Running on sand is pretty good gig especially while Minnesota is under a couple of feet of snow.
The beach runs along a whole shoreline of condos and hotels, and we pale northerners come out from our private accommodations to join a community as we acquire a new level of sunburn. I saw people running, walking, and splashing in the waves. I saw kids and adults building sand castles and sand turtles. Really, it was pretty neat.
As I looked to the beach entrance of one complex, I noticed a middle aged gentleman putting sunscreen on an elderly gentleman. As I researched a bit more I realized it was a son covering his elderly father with the sun protection.
I know it might sound awkward but it was beautiful.
The son wasn’t embarrassed as he rubbed the lotion on the hairy, worn back and shoulders that he sat on when he was younger. The father didn’t complain or act like he didn’t need the help. Instead of being prideful, he seemed to welcome the assistance.
The son wasn’t condescending or rude. He didn’t use gloves or work quickly. Rather the two laughed together as the son’s skin gently moved across his father’s, careful not to miss a spot.
I’m sure it might have looked weird to see this runner staring as he passed by but I was moved immensely.
How wonderful that the son would not be overcome by any impressions he thought onlookers had. Maybe it’s not true for you but even though I’m well past high school, I still experience the pressure of what my peers might think. Instead the son honored his father by humbling himself, staying focused, and making sure no piece of skin was left unprotected.
I wonder what the father experienced as he felt the tender touch from hands he once taught to throw a baseball. The hands that needed his help as his son walked for the first time now helped him do something he could not do by himself.
It was beautiful worship to our Lord because it was loving touch. In Taste Worship, we believe touch is an act of worship because touch is loving and loving someone is worshipping God.
As I kept running I was grateful for God’s creation of touch, especially between fathers and their children. The only touch we seem to hear about is bad touch when the fact is that God created touch for good and for His beautiful purpose.
As I write this blog, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m on a plane sitting beside my children. If Valentine’s Day is about love, then whether you are a son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife, reach out and touch someone.
Genuinely be loving with a gentle hand, hug, hand holding, or whatever might stretch you just a bit. You will communicate a lot more than you think you are.
It really is worship.
God is good all the time!