Who cries over a cinnamon donut? I did this morning. Sobbed with a mug of coffee in one hand and a donut in the other. Taste and memory connected and I was nine again in DeKalb, Illinois.
As the eldest of three, I received extra privileges and responsibilities. Back then, Daddy did much of the grocery shopping. And one of my privileges was walking with him to the local A&P to pick up groceries from Mama’s short list. The fun part was that he never stuck to the list. And sometimes, he added a box of cinnamon donuts. I think it cost something like .29 cents for a dozen.
However, looking back, it wasn’t the goods as much as the gift of being together. The safe feeling of my hand tucked into Daddy’s. Focused time together. Since he was a pastor, folks often clamored for his attention, made demands, had many needs. And he did the best he could, which was never enough for some. But this was our time. Just me and Daddy. Face to face. Hand in hand.
Which explains why today’s donut wasn’t enough. I missed Daddy’s face and hand. It caught me by surprise. Most of my tears connect to missing Jud or other concerns. Maybe it was because I’m still pondering yesterday’s Community Bible Study lesson from III John. He admits letters aren’t enough and he hopes to see them face to face.
And I get it. Letters, texts, calls, email go just so far. The news reminds us there’s an epidemic of loneliness among the young in our culture. But this dis-ease infects more than the young. We backed away during the pandemic, masked, hunkered down and took to connecting in less personal ways. And now, we’re unsure how to bridge back. It’s easier to work from home and less hassle to watch church on TV, while eating breakfast, wearing pajamas.
So yesterday I read that a man named Albert Mehrabian figured out the components to communication. He claimed that 55% is NON-verbal, 38% is vocal and 7% words. Well, it didn’t take much for me to realize why so many are dying of loneliness. God designed us to be in relationships. And that requires face to face and hand in hand times together.
And that’s what I missed this morning. While I had food for my body, my soul starved for a familiar face and hand. A cinnamon donut or a text with an emoji takes one just so far. Even God’s part of a Trinity, which suggests even God doesn’t like being alone.
Well, lets face it. While words matter, they aren’t enough to keep us connected heart to heart. I read somewhere we worry that our kids aren’t listening to us. We should worry that they never stop watching what we do.
Well, that’s hardly a stress reliever.
Which is why, now and then, I hunger for a familiar face, a reassuring hand or a donut.
How about you?
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