Touching People
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Touching People

My barber startled me today.  She said, “I’ve been praying for you.”  Though she has been cutting my hair for years I really don’t know her other than her name and the usual niceties of conversation.  However, other than shaking hands with people, she is one of the few people who touch me.  Today she touched me in a different way.  Instead of merely touching my head, her expression of care touched my heart.

Touch is important.  We know that babies who are not touched do not thrive.  Yet, we live in a culture that discourages touching.  Teachers are fearful of touching students lest they be unfairly accused.  Yet, we all know there are times when a crying child needs someone to hold them.  Many years ago I was the pastor of a church with a daycare.  One morning I saw a little guy sitting on the floor silently weeping.  As I sat down beside him he said, “I want my mommy.”  I spent most of the morning with him on my lap.

In the first chapter of Mark Jesus healed a leper.  But first Jesus touched him.  It was an outrageous act of love.  Nobody touched lepers.  Jesus did.  Jesus was so sensitive to our need when a woman touched the hem of his garment He stopped and said, “Who touched me.”  Both the leper and the woman left totally and completely well.  On resurrection Sunday Jesus said to Mary, “You have to let go of me.  I haven’t yet been to my Father.”  The King James says, “Don’t touch me.”  But the Greek, in which the story was originally written, says, “Let me go.”

If we want to do real evangelism let’s learn about individuals and imaginatively and uniquely do something designed to touch them.

Written by Roger Bothwell on January 10, 2014

Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574