Why is it that a gentle pat on your arm or shoulder from a friend can communicate more encouragement than many words? At other times a warm embrace or even an affirming hug can renew energy and courage and even create a sense of well being. Experts tell us that our skin is the largest organ of our body and that touch is the one sense that does not diminish in its strength as we age. Our eyes and ears certainly deteriorate and sadly enough so does our sense of taste and smell, but our awareness of touch may even increase with age. At death’s door, the power of the human touch eases the fears and comforts the most afflicted. Medical research continues to discover the vast implications when the restorative powers of human touch are used strategically and appropriately with gentle love and kindness.
Jesus clearly understood the joy and power that is communicated through our hands. As He traveled about preaching the Good News of the Kingdom and healing the sick, He never hesitated to touch the needy or offer His hand to help the ones who came to Him for healing. Sometimes you have to wonder if it was His words or simply His touch that brought the dead to life and caused the blind to see and the lame to walk. To feel the hand of the Messiah, the One who came to seek and save the lost, and then to look in to His eyes of compassion must have been an unforgettable experience. It is no wonder that those who experienced His healing touch, as well as those who observed these miracles, were amazed and “delighted with all the wonderful things He was doing”. It is also no surprise that His opponents were horrified and humiliated by His willingness to humbly serve the ones in need rather than proudly condemn the frailty of the common man.
The song writer, William Gaither, wrote a song in the early 1960’s that reminds us that Jesus still awaits the opportunity to touch us, to lift our burdens, and to heal us from all that binds and limits us. “He touched me. O, He touched me and O, the joy that floods my soul. Something happened and now I know, He touched me and made me whole.”