The Touch of Love

"And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16
“Unda, Momma, Unda!” (Translation from 2-year-old language: “Scratch my back, Momma, and get it really good by going under my shirt.”) Yes, these were the cries of my little ones, as they perched themselves on my lap, begging for a back scratch.
My Little Ones
 As a young mom, I learned about the importance of positive physical touch during a parents’ Bible class based on the book, “The Five Love Languages of Children.” (Click to read an excerpt about positive physical touch.) And what momma doesn’t love to snuggle and wrestle, tickle and cuddle with her little ones anyway? My husband and I nurtured our twins and our “trailer,” who followed the twins by three years, with large doses of that “positive physical touch”. Back scratches quickly became the favorite in our family:  while snuggled in the rocking chair during story time or family devotions; while sitting on the side of their beds, listening to their prayers and tucking them in; while seated side by side on the sofa, during family movie nights. It was a special touch of love.

It wasn’t long before my toddler & preschoolers learned that Momma’s back-scratch-of-love felt even better “unda!” They would lift the back of their shirts and smile irresistibly, turning just a bit to look in my eyes and cry those sweet, memorable words, “Unda, Momma, Unda!”
The comforting back scratch routine that began at home grew into a pattern during worship in church. With a child on each side and the third one still within reach, I spent countless hours in the pew gently scratching backs, which calmed these active youngsters and helped them learn to focus and listen, guided by the touch of their mother. On occasion, my youngest would start to lift his shirt with a soft whisper, “unda…” and I would have to remind him, “No… OVER in church!” But still, a touch of love.

Jesus' touch of love was felt by the world. Our Savior’s hand reached out again and again to calm, to bless, to heal. When Peter and John fell face-down, terrified, during Christ’s transfiguration, He came to them and touched them as He calmed His disciples, saying, “Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 17) People brought little children to Jesus that He may touch them. (They knew His touch was something special!) He took the children in His arms, lay His hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10) As Jesus placed His powerful hands upon the sick and the diseased, the lame and the blind, they were miraculously healed. Jesus reached out and touched the world with His sacrificial love as He died and rose to take away our sins. His hand reaches out and holds ours today. (Psalm 73:23)
Have you reached out and touched someone lately? Perhaps you don’t have a toddler in your home crying, “Unda!” But there is someone in your life who would benefit from your gentle touch, and God will use it powerfully! A loved one relaxes in your calming, warm embrace after a stressful day of work or school. A friend responds to the blessing of your gentle squeeze on her shoulder as you say, “How have you been lately?” A lonely hospice patient cherishes the soft touch of your hand that soothes his pain and tells him, “I care.” Jesus' ultimate touch of redeeming love enables us to reach out and touch others with His love, too.
The back-scratch-of-love that began with my little ones is a sweet routine that remains today in our home filled with not-so-little ones (big, independent teenagers!). Still, they plop down beside me, smile irresistibly (some things don’t change), and turn just a bit to look in my eyes and say, “Backscratch Please?” A touch of love.
My Not-So-Little Ones


  1. We did this when our sons were young and living at home. I wish we would have continued it. I don't think it's too late to begin again, and start doing it with our grandchildren. THANKS for the remindar! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR WONDERFUL HANDS!!

  2. Oh so fun & sweet. What a tender word picture of Christ touching us!