Ann Farabee: The Touch
Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 28, 2016
Don’t you love the feeling you have when walking with a child and they reach up for your hand? Just that simple touch — so wonderful!
They may be a little afraid- crossing the street, a scary sound, maybe even a bee buzzing around them- anything that might bring about the need for comfort and security that someone they love can give them. Or maybe they want to lead you in a different direction than the two of you were walking. Sometimes, they just grab your hand without even thinking about it — out of love.
The feeling is mutual, isn’t it? The comfort and security and love the child feels parallels with the comfort, security, and love we feel when they reach for our hand.
Studies show that touch matters. Touch can boost your immune system. An ‘encouraging’ touch — like a pat on the back — can make you feel smarter. Touch can lessen stress. Touch can warm you. Touch can deepen relationships.
In Mark 5:21-43, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, went personally to bow at Jesus’ feet and ask that He come lay hands on his daughter so that she could be healed, because she was at the point of death.
As they headed toward his house, surrounded by a large crowd of people, there was a woman who had suffered physically, been to many physicians, and had spent all, but continued to get worse. She edged up through the ‘press of the crowd’ behind Jesus, trying desperately to touch His garment. When she did — she was healed! Jesus “turned around in the press” to reach out and let her know that her faith had made her whole.
People then began crying out to Jesus that Jairus’ 12- year-old daughter was dead. BUT, when Jesus arrived at the house, He reached out to her, touched her hand, and told her to arise. She was healed!
Two totally different situations. Two touches. Two healings.
The book of Mark has other examples of those who reached out to Jesus- needing to touch Him — and for Him to touch them — a paralyzed man, a political leader, a blind beggar, a tax collector, a sick woman, a rich man, an insane hermit. People from all walks of life — needing and receiving — the touch of Jesus. Their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual lives were forever changed.
Those who touched Jesus — and those who Jesus touched. Beautiful stories.
Bodies were healed — Touch is therapeutic.
Hearts were healed — Touch tenders.
Lives were healed — Touch transforms.
And a beautiful definition of the word touch: to be ‘so close’ there is no space between.
Where are you? ‘So close’ you can touch His garment? Or are you standing with a space between you and Jesus — not quite close enough to touch Him?
Just like we love how we feel when a child reaches for our hand, Jesus loves for us to reach up to Him.
Keep pressing through the crowd! You will get there … When you reach out to touch Jesus, He will “turn around in the press” to touch your body, heart, and life.
The touch of God in your life … there’s nothing like it.
Ann Farabee, writer, teacher, and speaker, has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org