I don’t know if the word balm is actually used anymore outside of the medical office. When I was growing up it was a word often heard and understood. There was the icky smell of the medicinal balm usually applied to the chest for colds. Such as mustard plasters; or good old Vick’s vapor rub used on the chest; back and nasal cavities. (My mum used to make us eat Vick’s & Vaseline when we ran out of cough syrup). Then there is the balm we also called back then liniment for sore muscles. My favorite balm was the sweat smelling balms my Great-grandma would occasionally rub on me; such as lemon, orange or mint. Today we call fragrant balms body oils.
When you are a kid and you have hurt yourself or you have a respiratory infection it was a good feeling when your mum or grandma would rub the balm on you. Honestly I don’t know what made me feel better; the balm or the touch of my loving mum or grand-mum. When you feel icky there is something about a loving touch that makes your world just a wee bit better. When you suffer from sprains or sore muscles and you are rubbed with a soothing balm deeply into the tissues it’s a great help. Today we have become very disconnected with a positive and loving touch from mother, grand-ma and spouse. There are times when we must touch; however, I don’t think that the art of touching should completely disappear. Reconnect with the sweet aromatic touch of family and friendship. When you look back to reflect on your life; you may find that the balm of love has always been present and healing.
Scripture reference & definition
Jeremiah 8:21-22; 46:11; 51:8
Any of various oily, fragrant, resinous substances, often of medicinal value, exuding from certain plants; any aromatic or fragrant ointment; any of various aromatic plants of the mint family; anything that heals, soothes, or mitigates pain. For example: Orange blossoms or lemon-scented leaves used as a seasoning.