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The Power of Touch

by Don Pedal  
8/21/2013 / Christian Living


How many of us have really thought about the power of human touch?
The Bible gives us many examples of Jesus' healing touch. He touched the leper and healed him immediately. Leprosy was, then, a fatal disease with no known cure and was highly contagious. If a man had leprosy, he was banished from his home and community and had to live among other lepers until he died. As the leper cried out to Him for healing, Jesus approached him, touched him and healed him immediately. ( Matt. 8:3 )
We have the time when Jesus visited Peters' house. Peters' mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever. Jesus touched her hand and the fever left her instantly. ( Matt. 8:15 )
As Jesus and the disciples were passing by, a woman who had been hemorrhaging for years approached Him from behind and touched the hem of His garment. She had faith that just touching His garment would heal her. She also was healed.
We might be tempted to think, yes, but He was Jesus and, as God, He had the power to heal.
We might also think, I know that certain persons were given the power to heal by the Holy Spirit but that is not one He gave me.
Can we so easily dismiss the power of human touch? It is often unrecognized as a healing power or underestimated.
Years ago, at the graveside service of my father, I was sitting and quietly grieving. Deeply withdrawn, I suddenly felt a hand from behind me gently rest on my shoulder. No words were spoken but I will never forget the comfort I experienced knowing that someone shared my grief.
What are some of the ways that touch can make a difference?
Sometimes visiting the sick is an opportunity to show that you care by just being there, holding their hand or touching their shoulder. Words are not always necessary to show your empathy, just your quiet presence. We might just drop by to visit a troubled friend and share a cup of coffee. A warm handshake, an arm around the shoulder or a hug can mean a lot. There is something healing about relaxed conversation around the kitchen table.


Just what do we mean when we say empathy?
Some people feel that empathy is simply feeling sorry for someone else. We tell them we will pray for them and then go our way.
Empathy is defined as the projection of our own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better. It is our ability to share another person's emotions, thoughts and feelings.
We often do not realize that there are really three persons present --- our friend, the Lord Jesus and ourselves. We know He is present because the Bible tells us that when two or more are gathered in His name, He is present also. ( Matt. 18:20 ) We must always be aware that the third person, Jesus, is the real healing power. We are simply a channel of God's love to those afflicted. Understanding this frees us to rely on His power to heal. We also know that our prayers will not go unheard or unanswered. God does not always heal instantly. Delay does not mean He has not heard us. He may choose to heal through normal medical treatment, a process that can take time. He may choose not to heal telling us His grace is sufficient for us as He did Paul. Also, remember, " We have not because we ask not".
Empathy is important because people do not care about how much you know until they know how much you care. We must show that we care about them as a human being and not some project or obligation. We need to build trust and mutual respect and that takes time.
I learned this lesson one Christmas Day serving at a local Rescue Mission for the homeless. After serving the food, I sat down at one of the tables. The men were very courteous and friendly but I sensed a quiet reserve. Later I talked to a member of the Mission and I mentioned the feeling I had. It was then I learned a lesson in empathy I never forgot. She said, "They appreciate your being here but they know you will leave and they may never see you again". Empathy takes time and a genuine focus on another person's needs.


We may become aware of the need around us and decide to think about it. It soon fades from us as new ideas emerge which we will think about. We do have good intentions. Remember that good intentions are only dreams until acted upon.
Do you have a problem with good intentions? Look around you! " The harvest is white but the workers are few". ( Matt. 9:37 ) Your world is full of opportunities to minister to those in your personal sphere of influence. What makes the difference is your decision to think about it or act.
Make your decision RIGHT NOW?
Do not think about it ACT!

As a senior citizen, I am dedicated to serving the Lord through sharing my experiences and insights with other believers. My primary focus is upon being an disciple of Jesus and, in being one, I can help others to find their spiritual way also.
This article is original and not copywrited

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