LOVING TOUCH

“But Jesus said, ‘someone did touch me;
I perceived that healing power has gone forth from me.”
Luke 8:46

In this story we read that a woman reached out to touch the tassels of Jesus garment. She wasn’t even sure whether approaching Jesus was appropriate. She opted for the discreet gesture of only touching his garment. Indeed her expectations were exceeded and she was healed! To top it off, Jesus highly praised her step of faith!

It is often written of Jesus that He touched people. Others may have considered them undesirables and outcasts, but Jesus did not shy away from touching a blind beggar, a leprosy sufferer, and even a woman of questionable moral character. They needed physical healing, but He gave them far beyond the physical. Others recoiled at the mere thought of touching them, but He met the needs of their heart. No self-protecting boundaries here! No fear of defilement. Nothing moves us like a touch from Jesus, through whomever He sends it!

With the exception of driving through the ‘touchless’ carwash, which is a good thing, there is a trend towards becoming a touchless society. Nowadays our teachers are warned to not hug or even pat a child on the shoulder or the head. How sad that our culture has arrived at the point where we have to be guarded in giving caring, loving touch, lest it be misread. Oh, that we could share with one another the love Jesus showed as He welcomed the children to come unto Him!

A handshake can signify warm affection between friends if it is given with sincerity and a smile. Much, much better than a handshake, in my opinion, is the occasional big bear hug. As members of the family of God, our pure affection for each other is at its best when it is freely given as well as received without fear, misgivings or suspicions. It should communicate comfort, compassion, loving support, affection, the joy of fellowship and caring.

I’ve read somewhere that, “It’s a source of continuous wonder that simply touching and being touched can solve so many of our problems,” Doctors have agreed that, “Hugging is an excellent tonic.” We’ve all heard that babies have died from lack of touch. Could it be that adults also die a little inside each time kind and warm touch is denied them? Hugging can lift depression; even strengthen the body’s immune system. Hugs have therapeutic effects that cannot be measured.

Personally, I am energized when I give hugs and receive them. When we hug, we communicate positively and receive an emotional boost. Those who fear touch or intentionally withhold affection communicate negatively, often passing judgment on those who give so naturally and freely. Fear of touch reveals personal hang-ups and insecurities at the heart level that need divine healing.

Working with seniors in long-term care these many years has made me into a generous giver of touch, because I sense peoples’ need. Many lonely people make a point of daily coming to the front lobby to receive their morning hugs, hand shakes and happy hellos! Meaningful connections! They know what’s good for them! We probably wouldn’t need so many doctors’ prescriptions, if we gave and received the healing benefits of touch with an open-hearted spirit. The Psychiatrists’ couches would be nearly empty if we would not fear to touch one another emotionally and physically.

One of life’s tragedies is the inability of some to express or receive pure enthusiastic affection and warmth from others. Their personal boundaries have become walls instead of fences with a gate in them and people must keep their distance for fear of offending. For those who desire to be more like Jesus, welcoming others warmly into our space by freely giving loving, healing touch through hugs, a gentle hand around the shoulder, or a friendly handshake, should come absolutely natural. I would hate to go touchless through life! If you ever need or even just want a hug, there is one waiting from my heart to yours.

Always keeping in touch,

6 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

You are right, Karin.. There's nothing better than a big-ole-bear-hug!!!! BUT--teachers and all of us are being told not to do it anymore.. Isn't that just sad???? Sometimes I wonder about this country!

Have a wonderful weekend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Cathryn said...

Hi Karin - a powerful post on the mightiness of touch. Thank you so much for it. Blessings ~ Cathryn

Ronnica said...

This is something I'm trying to grow in. I'm rather touchy-feely, but only with those that I'm closest to. I want to be more open to others around me. I do try to pat or hug the children in my SS class.

Karabeth said...

Thank you for the encouragement. We're a fairly demonstrative family. I've noticed that sometimes other people are not comfortable with that so I try to pay attention to personal preferences.

Thank you for the virtual hug. Here's one for you in return!

Lady Dorothy said...

{{{BIG HUGS}}}

This is all so true. The meaningful touch is one of the love languages we humans "speak". I think we need to communicate with a few more pats and hugs!

Charity Childs-Gevero said...

It is always the will of Jesus to heal anyone who is sick!

And it is that faith...the faith that does not question "Am I good enough?" or "Am I worthy enough?" or "Does He really want to heal me?" or "Will he really do this for me?" but rather the faith that says "I know that if I but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be made whole!" That is the kind of faith that we are entitled to!

:)

Yes, it is an entitlement!

:)