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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Tangible Touch

Twelve years without so much as a handshake, high five, nor a hug. Can you imagine? Touch is a biological and developmental need. It helps us feel connected to others. Touch reduces anxiety, forms bonds, lowers blood pressure, improves our outlook, and provides sensory input that we need to function and develop properly. This morning, as I again read the story of the woman who’d been subject to bleeding for twelve years, in Luke, chapter eight, I saw the story through fresh eyes – through a perspective that I had not previously seen. This woman had lived with not only the stigma of being considered “unclean” for twelve years, but she had likely lived in isolation for just as long. The sheer loneliness was likely far worse than the condition itself. I wonder if that is the very thing that drove her determination to hold onto the hope that she might be healed, if she could only touch the hem of His cloak?

Personally, I picture her experience as some sort of roller coaster ride. Sheer determination to end her isolation propelled her through the throes of the crowd. Hope reached out her hand for His hem, and joy unimagined must have been rising as she felt the bleeding cease. Then, she was called out. Would He take it back? Would she be sent back to her isolated space for her violation of societal laws in her unclean state? Imagine the momentary fear that tried to lay hold of her heart. Somehow, faith continued to rise within her. “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” – (Luke 8:47-48)

She was free! Not only was she free from the illness that had plagued her for twelve long years, but she no longer needed to live in isolation. The touch of His hem touched more than her hand, it touched her heart and soul. Never again, would she be considered “untouchable“.

Lonely, untouched,Tangible Touch

a face in the crowd;

the world, silent,

despite being loud.

Who knows not touch,

in our world today?

Lonely, outcast,

let love light the way.

For He will show,

where the need is great;

are we willing,

to step out in faith?

Pat on the back,

a hug on the side;

what will it cost,

to give those denied?

Please show us, God,

how we’re meant to touch;

as Your hands, Lord,

to share Your love much.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us with an unfailing and everlasting love. Thank You that while we were yet stuck in our own sinfulness, You loved. Thank You that You touch us, even when we feel untouchable, and that there is never a time when You are not willing to be near. Forgive us for neglecting to be Your hands and heart to the hurting in a tangible way, and help us to know how to touch those who feel alone and untouchable. May Your light and love be evident in us, and may many come to know the freedom and acceptance that is always available in You alone. May lives be changed and hearts be restored, as the lonely and isolated find way into community. Be glorified as we gather, Lord God. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

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