“Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ And immediately the leprosy left him.”
— Luke 5:13
Have you ever felt lonely or low on energy, aching for some rejuvenation, then someone came to you and patted you on the back or gave you a hug? If so, how did that simple touch affect you?
A touch can work magic. Touch is like a rainbow arcing up and over the distance between two people, drawing them nearer emotionally and spiritually. This happens in friendships; as we hug or shake hands, we feel a deeper connection and intimacy with our friends. Touching between married people rekindles love and stokes the fire of romance. God commanded man and woman to cleave to each other and become “one flesh,” knowing that oneness of mind and spirit begins with a touch.
Unfortunately, our society doesn’t allow much touching these days. We talk about staying in touch, about being in touch, about getting in touch, but these are figurative phrases, not physical realities. Children learn touching at a young age in their families, but as they grow, the rules of society teach them to keep their hands to themselves.
This is such a shame, because a touch can minister to the soul. Dr. Frederick Treves brought a young man to London who was suffering from a disease so hideous he was called “the elephant man.” One day a beautiful lady smiled at the elephant man and shook his hand. Because of this simple gesture, the elephant man burst into tears. No one had touched him or smiled at him since his mother’s death many years before.
Jesus touched people regularly, in many cases to minister healing. In the Gospels there are thirty-one occurrences of the term “touch,” as well as other terms indicating that Jesus held or touched people. He placed His hands upon blind eyes and dumb tongues; He placed his fingers on deaf ears; He touched the dead; He even touched a leper. And because of Jesus’ touch, people’s lives were forever changed.
Do you know someone who needs a simple touch today? All it takes is a simple handshake or a pat on the shoulder. Let us reach out, as Christ did, to touch and heal and restore.