22. Hand in Hand = Together
[Doodle by Tara at Doodle Through the Bible; download the free coloring page on her blog post. This devotion and doodles are our Christmas gift to you and we pray God bless you richly.]
I was well into the years of my life when I realized that there are those people who cannot get enough hugs and touching and there are those people who increase that personal space to keep touch within individual limits. I am one of those people who has a particular point at which touch is too much. It depends on the circumstances and the person. For instance, I cannot get enough baby cuddles. My dogs can snuggle me to the point where I am exclaiming they are “little hot boxes.” However, with adults my touch endurance has a boundary, as well as sadness evoking that breaking point where absolutely no touch is allowed.
Holding hands with my husband depends on my mood. There are times I do not want to be slowed down and there are times when casual hand holding is permissible. I enjoy the sense of belonging to one another. Sometimes we hold hands while watching TV from our recliners. Sometimes we hold hands while shopping or taking a walk to announce to the world we are in love. I love a gentle kiss before we part in the morning, but restrict any touching while busy cooking or cleaning as I am on a mission.
I know there are many that can relate to how I feel and there are many that think I must be crazy! One of the five “love languages” is “touch.” For each person the five love languages are ordered from 1 to 5. My touch is 5 and my husband’s touch is 1! Talk about opposites attracting, it is true!
Hand in hand = Together. Hand in hand we help the other along the journey. “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2. I can imagine that is what Mary and Joseph did on their long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. If they traveled 20 miles a day for 80 miles, it would have taken them 4 days. What a long trip! The Bible does not say whether they walked together, hand in hand, or if the very pregnant Mary rode a donkey as is most logical, or if Joseph pushed her in a cart. We form a mental image of them together for 4 days, helping each other in conversation to keep company, make decisions on where to sleep for the night, or determining the means of travel.
There may be times when we cannot bear each other's burdens enough and there may be those times when we want to be independent. Instances may depend on the circumstance, the person, the mood, or the mission. No, we are not crazy for leaning on one another and we are not crazy for being independent. However, hand in hand, together, when the time is right, with God's strength and guidance, we can hold each other up and help each other through.