Skin to Skin - Erin Robertson

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is
all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:9-14 NIV

When I was pregnant, everyone was talking about the great need for skin-to-skin contact immediately after the baby was born. It was stressed repeatedly how much babies not only crave that closeness, but actually depend on it for survival. A lack of human touch will eventually lead to the baby’s death, a condition referred to as “failure to thrive”

Spiritually speaking, we are all still just infants, and just as in need of direct contact with our parent. But, instead of skin-to-skin, it’s more of a soul-to-soul need. We need to feel that contact with God, or we too will fail to thrive.

Lent invites us to remove the layers that are preventing us from soul-to-soul contact. We are called to “take off our old selves”, often in the form of giving up indulgences or bad habits. But we are not called to stop there. We are to then put on a new self, clothing ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”. Notice that all of these virtues are ways of interacting with others, and it is through this grace-filled interaction that I believe we can feel the soul-to-soul contact with God.

And what a glorious, deeply comforting, life-giving feeling that is!

Holy Comforter, Help us to remove the layers that are separating us from you. Amen.

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