Scientists at the primate laboratory in University of Wisconsin conducted a very remarkable experiment on the importance of contact comfort among monkeys. “Contact comfort,” what images do these words conjure in your mind? Is it a warm blanket in a cold night or a bear hug from someone dear?
The subject of the study was a young monkey who was not yet weaned from its mother’s milk. Inside the rooms are two beds with a side by side but different from each other. Each bed had an object resembling a mother monkey. One bed had a shape of a mother monkey and was made of soft, terry-cloth while the other was a mother monkey made of wire. Let us call these two unconventional mothers as “Mother Cloth and Mother Wire” respectively. Despite the shabby appearance of the Mother Wire, she had an edge to Mother Cloth. She got something that Mother Cloth did not have. She had a rubber nipple which when sucked flowed freely with milk.
If you were the baby monkey, which mother will you prefer? Well, it did not take long for the monkey to make up his mind. The baby monkey readily went to the soft and cozy Mother Cloth. We can presume at this point that Mother Cloth did not only exude warmth, comfort and coziness but it also represents love and comfort in the mind of the baby monkey. Can a piece of wire connote love and affection?
However, when he felt hungry he did something that surprised the scientists. His whole body in a very awkward way stayed stuck with Mother Cloth while his mouth grasped the nipple of Mother Wire for milk.
This only shows us that comfort is a paramount need not only of the monkeys but also for human beings. The need for love and comfort is far stronger than the basic need for food. It is far powerful than we wish to admit. Both men and monkeys should not live by ‘bread’ alone both species need love—to love and be loved.
There is also a great spiritual truth in this experiment that we can learn. In Matthew 4:4 we can read that, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” What kind of word comes out from God’s mouth?
God is love. He is a God of love and every word that comes from Him speaks of His unconditional love for us. Whether you love Him or not, it does not make any difference at all. He always loves all of us regardless of who we are and what we are. Talk about unconditional love.
Most of us have the misconception that God’s words for us are all warnings and rebukes. We must dispel this lie from our minds and learn of the true loving nature of God. God’s nature is love. If God does not love us, He would not even think about of giving up His most precious Son to buy our pardon. If dying on the cross was not an ultimate act of love, then what was it?