We Were Made For Embodied Connections

We Were Made For Embodied Connections

by Aszia Pearson

In our most recent episode of A World Free: The pureHOPE Podcast, we sat down with our super smart friend Bill, aka Dr. William Struthers, a behavioral neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology.

Around 28:00, Bill poses the question, “what does real intimacy and belonging look like?” We were created embodied beings meant for embodied interactions. We are designed for connection, full, all-five-senses-involved type connection.

We recorded this episode before the COVID-19/quarantining reality hit us all. And yet, this part of our makeup remains true.

As I listened to the episode this morning, I thought about the painful irony. Here we are reminding each other on the show about the importance of presentness (over the phone mind you, in another twist of irony) in a time when all around the world, we are physically more isolated than ever.

We are thankful for the opportunities technology affords us in these days. To be able to still connect, to send our thoughts, prayers, and encouragement through audio messages and digital images transmitted around the world. But as we are utilizing these resources to connect as best we can amid social distancing, what if God is stirring up a longing in us that when this—whatever this is, and for however long this lasts—is over, we will no longer be satiated by these types of truncated, mediated “FaceTime” connections, but will instead move toward each other with a deep hunger for face to face connection? Like John who spoke with gratitude for the technology of his day, and yet desire for the “complete joy” of the real.

“Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” —2 John 1:12

As my husband has observed, “you know for all of our modern tech-connect capabilities, this whole thing really does show, we still like to do stuff.” We still like to attend live events, shop retail without gloves, and host people in our home.

This episode has us thinking… maybe being reminded of this, isn’t such a bad thing? (Though it is certainly an acute reminder!) As Bill lamented an entire generation growing up numb with a lack of embodied connection, as we groan in our current, collective isolation… what if this is an opportunity for a reset?

We are praying for just that.

Father, please use this time to awaken in all of us, a desire for true intimacy. And let those desires steep, so that soon (LORD willing, soon!) we can begin to recover the potency of real life connection.

Please hasten the day of face to face, heart to heart, arm in arm. Thank you for creating us as embodied beings meant for embodied connections. Please stir up our longing for real connection in this time of social distancing, please sustain us in the meantime through common technological graces, and please grant us (very soon!) the ability to reach out and touch our loved ones—to again, extend handshakes, give hugs, and “greet one another with a holy kiss” (2 Corinthians 13:12).

In the meantime, how can you cultivate “embodied” connection, and all-five-senses experiences in your own life today?

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Be especially present with those on your quaran-team. If you are quarantining with family or roommates, use the time to get tactile—play board games, give lots of hugs, do yardwork—connect! If you are quarantining while living alone, consider having one (trustworthy) quarantine buddy.
  • Make something with your hands! Cook, construct, create!
  • Move. Exercise, go on walks. Keep your body engaged!
  • Get outside. Open a window. Feel the sun, the air, even the rain as much as you are able.

Let us know some of your ideas below in the comments or by joining our pureHOPE community on your preferred platform @findpurehope!

If you are looking for healthy ways to help your family utilize technology during this time, check out our 5-Point Tech Strategy. and some of our recommended resources, especially Bark and Covenant Eyes.



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