Skip to main content


There is a new television series on FOX that aired this week called “Touch.” It is about a broken man whose wife died in one of the towers on 911 and about their 11-year old son who is autistic. The boy has never spoken a word and lives in a world of numbers he writes incessantly in one notebook after another. He is brilliant and loving but lives isolated inside his mind. His father tries desperately to connect with him.

The first episode reveals that the boy possesses remarkable gifts and through a series of related events is able to influence the destinies of others. In his own limited way he wants so much to include his father in his silent life and make him a partner in his gifts. His father’s love and determination pays off and allows him to understand these gifts and eventually find a way to communicate with him.

I totally bought into the show and to the heroic attempts of this father to connect with his son.

Our children are our greatest personal resources. They are gifts of our love and they need so much from us and in return give us so much. The desire to connect with them is a lifelong process and if we do it right is rewarding beyond description.

I am fortunate to have two amazing sons whom I love with everything in me. They are grown men now busy with their good lives. But we manage to stay connected across the miles through calls and emails and through that sort of mysterious innate relationship of love that forever binds us to our children.

I now also have a granddaughter and a grandson who have become a part of the connection process that resides deep within my heart. Although they live in a distant city I feel their presence with me. I speak to them through the usual phone calls and video messages even though they are small and just forming their ability to communicate. But I want them to know I am here thinking about them, missing and loving them.

I have a daughter too, my 9-year-old princess, who carries the keys to my heart. Watching her grow up nurtures all of those old instincts of love we all hope never fail us.

Actor Johnny Depp has said, “When kids hit 1 year old, it’s like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold on to them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.”

That may be the best description of a 1 year old I have ever seen.

Journeying with our children through all of the stages of their growing up years is a part of both the joy and terror of parenting. Sometimes they don’t make it; and sometimes we don’t. I have friends who have lost a child, and I know children who have lost a parent.

Life’s mysteries often haunt me. One of the things I least understand is the randomness of life and the loss of children to disease, to accident, to the violence and cruelty of damaged parents or to the insanity of war.

Sometimes this miraculous connection we share with our children and they share with us is broken or lost or interrupted in bitter, heart wrenching ways. This is a part of the unfinished business of life. It reminds us of how fragile this whole thing we call life is; and how precious the links to those we love, especially our children, ultimately are.

The autistic boy and his father in the new series “Touch” inwardly and outwardly strain to reach one another. With faltering, agonizing steps, their love reaches far enough to connect. There is so much more for them to know in order to keep the closeness they find.

Isn’t that the way it is for all of us?

© 2012 Timothy Moody

Popular posts from this blog

The Light in the Faces of Our Incredible Human Family

National Geographic Journalist Paul Salopek is walking across the world on foot to trace the pathways of the first humans who wandered out of Africa in the Stone Age to claim the earth as theirs. His journey will cover 21,000 miles and is estimated to take 10 years. He is four years into his massive expedition and already he has discovered that humanity is mostly kind and generous, welcoming and caring, hard-working and disciplined.
I watched a brief piece about Salopek’s journey on the PBS News Hour this week. I have included a link below.
What is extraordinary about his adventure is his realization that in spite of all the wars and turmoil across the globe, he has learned that “The world is an incredibly hospitable place.” In following the ancient trade route called “The Silk Road,” Salopek has gotten to know a variety of people young and old. And though he has so far encountered a few dangerous situations where he had his water supply stolen, was once ambushed by raiders, and was sho…

Our National Lack of Self-esteem

There is a brokenness in our society, a pervasive moral collapse, a reckless disregard for community, neighborliness, courtesy, and compassion.
Our government leads by this example. Both parties are incompetent to guide us into a more responsible living, into a serviceable structure of humanity. Our leaders are dominated by greedy oligarchs who don’t just want more, they want everything, even if it costs our society its dignity, its soul, even its future.
What is on display here daily is a wretched lack of self-esteem. The loss now influences all of us. We’re all affected in ways that keep us shamed by our actions.
When we feel powerless, aimless, without any higher goals than the accumulation of things and the momentary thrill, we then mute our intelligence. We live by raw emotions—anger, appetite, urges. We don’t think, we don’t consider, we merely react. We push. We disregard. We threaten. We act out. And we fail.
Self-esteem is a learned process. It builds on genuine successes that ar…

Is the Soul Solid, like Iron?

Mary Oliver has a beautiful little poem in which she asks:

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?”

It is both.

The soul, we are told by philosophers, theologians, and mystics, is our essence, the permanence of our true self. It is that part of us that lives beyond death. Or so we are taught by religion. Where exactly the soul exists beyond that, has of course, been long debated.

There are times in life when something deep within us is, as Mary Oliver says, solid as iron and we operate out of some sense of aliveness, confidence, and inner strength. It may be fleeting, but there when needed; or it may carry us through long periods of endurance when we build a sturdy self, confident and capable of our abilities and talents.

This is the work of the soul. This is a part of our spiritual development. This is what enables us to believe there are forces in life, loving and generous and mystical, that nurture and compel us tow…