The Power of a Loving Touch
A few weeks ago, Pope Francis traveled through the United States. Often he would halt an entire motorcade so that he might lay hands on a sick child – a mother – a father; to bless them.
Adoration shines from the faces of people who receive his blessing with joy and hope. The blessing reaches deeply into their souls.
Jesus, too, knew the power of touch – the touch that heals our spirit…our soul…our body. He too would halt the motorcade – or its equivalent – to hold a child and to bless them.
Jesus Blesses the Children
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children…Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
In our day, the blessing of a loving and encouraging touch is being robbed from our children – and from us – because touch might mean violence, anger, or abuse – the kind of touch that isolates with shame and fear.
But God knows that a touch can heal and soothe.
It can comfort and strengthen and empower.
The touch of Jesus is love and welcome.
The Touch of Jesus Restores Fellowship with Others
The woman who had for so long been outcast from her culture because of her prolonged bleeding reaches out to touch Jesus with a desperate kind of faith. But it is enough! “If I can just touch the hem of his garment…” The touch of Jesus not only heals her, but it also restores her to community so that she can receive the loving touch of others.
Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment. Matthew 9:20-22
The leper – another outcast who definitely could not be touched. But Jesus reaches out and with a loving touch, breaks down the barriers of fear and rejection – and isolation. The touch of Jesus heals him. It restores the man to community.
Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Matthew 8:2-3
His Touch Today
He is not dead. He is alive!
What Jesus was demonstrating in his miracles was not only God’s power to heal, but God’s desire to reach out and to touch the lives of his created children in meaningful and life changing ways and to restore to us what the world has stolen.
- His loving touch renews our hope.
- His loving touch brings us peace.
- His loving touch heals and saves us.
- His loving touch restores us to communities of love and acceptance and belonging.
May we be the ones to bring others a loving touch from God: a hug, a kiss, food fed, words said, time shared.
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