Touch

I love this picture. 
Can you see her need?
Can you feel her desire?
“If I could just touch his coat…”
How powerful is touch?
In my devotions this morning, I read a story about a little girl who in her 6th year had been in 36 different places. From an abusive home to different foster families and institutions.  She was in the care of Childhelp USA and had been there for 3 months, the longest anywhere.  But because of her experiences, she did not want to be touched.
My heart breaks for children who live in that place, young and old.  How lonely.  How isolated.  Will they ever truly know love?  It simply breaks my heart and makes me angry.
As a teacher, I remember being cautioned about how we interacted with our kids.
I taught PreK and Kindergarten.
How sad is it that we are encouraged in today’s world, to be careful of our touch.
In a world where love needs to be shared to desperately, we have to be careful that our hugs, touches and signs of affection are not used against us.  
And then there was Jesus.  He didn’t listen to any of it.  He risked his life to love and touch those who were “untouchable” in their society; the lepers, the sick, the poor, the shamed. 
I can only imagine the talk that went around in these circles.  
They must have been telling each other.  They must have heard the news that there was a man named Jesus who was healing the sick and loving the outcast. 
The woman in the above picture heard this talk.  
She is evidence of the desire people have to be whole, to be loved.  
“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak because she thought, if I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”  Mark 5:28-29
What faith in desperation.  How beautiful the touch of Jesus.  She may have touched him in this story, but it is witness to the power of touch.  Oh how I desire to have a healing touch, a loving touch. 
With my family, with my friends.  
When they are hurting, when they are celebrating, when they are straying.
To love them beyond circumstances.
To wrap them with warmth.
That is my hope. 
Dearest Jesus, may I be your hands and feet on this earth.  May my words, actions and touch bring love and healing to those around me.  Forgive me when my words and actions have been hurtful to those around me.  May I be more and more like you each day.
Amen.

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