I burned my hand this winter. Not a particularly painful burn, but a nasty-looking and prominent one on the back of my right hand. In the days that followed, many friends noticed and asked about it. One friend immediately broke off a piece of her aloe plant and covered my hand with its healing salve. Another friend covered my hand with hers and prayed for healing. I felt anointed with blessing both times.
This week, the memories of those occasions, though weeks apart, converged into a picture of what my network of friends do for me. Through hugs and small touches, good meals and conversations, gifts of food and thoughtfulness; they nourish me, soul and body.