The boy, about eight years old, was strapped to a board. He couldn’t move. Not because he was strapped to the board, but because he was paralyzed from the neck down.

The board was just how the resource-strapped care facility could manage.

The home, a care facility for children with challenges, was in a poor part of Capetown, South Africa. Naomi was still figuring out what to do with her humanitarian journey, and the little boy in front of her poked her in the soft underbelly of her own discomfort.

The discomfort, she realized, wasn’t because the children made her uncomfortable. They didn’t. It was because she wasn’t sure what to do for them, feeling terribly inadequate. She was afraid of going up to them and wounding them by overestimating their ability or UNDERestimating their ability. She didn’t know what to do.

As Naomi approached the boy on the board, a woman at the home explained that he’d been dropped on his head by a drunk parent. He was paralyzed from the neck down and couldn’t communicate at all.

Not knowing what else to do, Naomi simply knelt down, reached out, and started to stroke his forehead. Slowly his eyelids began to flutter. Then tears began to stream down his face. Time stood still.

She heard someone said it was time to go, and Naomi found herself trapped, not knowing how to get up and leave. She pulled her hand back, and his eyes opened, darting over to her as if to ask why she’d stopped.

Naomi couldn’t get his face out of her head. That night she cried herself to sleep. She cried because he was strapped to a board; she cried because she had to take her hand away from his face; she cried because she’d witnessed something that transcended language and limitation yet, powerfully, was the language of humanity.

Each one of us has a calling and set of gifts, and each of us have both a mission field comprised of the very people around us and the ability to touch — literally or figuratively, with our hearts.

This true story is about the power of human touch. But I also wonder how many times we have the ability to touch people who are hurting in any other way. A handwritten card in the mail. A Facebook birthday greeting that shows you took the time to think with your heart instead of just going through the motions. A phone call that has no other reason than to say, “I’m thinking about you…is there anything I can do to make your life easier?”

Connectorship is enabled by technology, but it’s not about technology.

The real question is, “If you disappeared tomorrow, would you be missed?”

Only hearts deliver that.