We All Need Love - July 27, 2014
We all know that food, water, and shelter are essential to sustain life. But there’s another basic need that is too often overlooked—the need to love and be loved. Gentle touches, soft words, sweet smiles, and adoring looks nurture our soul in a way that nothing else can. No matter how old or young, we all need love.
Recently, a man noticed that his once-energetic dog had become old and tired. The same dog who used to bound into his arms when he walked through the door now barely lifted an ear when she heard him coming. Where she once followed her master eagerly wherever he went, now she rested on her bed most of the day, every day. She didn’t even run to her food dish at mealtimes like she used to.
In fact, it seemed that the only time she had energy enough to lift her tired, achy body was when she saw her master petting the cat. When that happened, the dog would slowly rise from her bed, gently amble over, and press her body against the man’s leg until he petted her too. As soon as he did, she contentedly wagged her tail. The dog’s needs for food and exercise had diminished, but her need for love was as strong as ever. Even though she was old—perhaps especially because she was old—she still needed to be loved.
People are much the same. We never outgrow the need to be loved. A woman with a lot of experience caring for the elderly observed that often, older people who live alone do not have occasion to feel the warmth of a human touch. So the woman made it a point to hold their hands, hug them, or pat their backs when she was with them. She noticed how much they appreciated even these small acts of affection.
Don’t we all? And don’t we need, just as much, the emotional uplift that comes from expressing love? Loving others is the essence of living a good life. For “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God” (1 John 4:16).
-Lloyd D. Newell