The power of touch - Hope 103.2

The power of touch

By David ReayMonday 14 Apr 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Matthew 14:34-36

34 When they had crossed over,they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 After the people of that place recognized him,they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him,36 and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed. (NRSV)

It is sadly common to hear of people who have been wounded by others inappropriately touching them. Many organisations have protocols in place that warn against physical contact between the sexes. Some touching is just not tolerable: it is an invasion of privacy and personal space,and can be part of unwarranted sexual overtures.

Then again,there is touch that is not only appropriate but an important part of healing. Some touch wounds,other touch heals. We see in this text that touching Jesus was the instrument of healing sick people. Nothing wrong with that sort of touching.

In our own day,appropriate touch can be an important part of compassionate caring. Words may not come or may not be helpful. But a touch can communicate concern without words getting in the way. How sad if we are so nervous about doing the wrong thing that we fail to do the best thing. How sad to consign all human touch to the area of unwise conduct.

Most of us,when infants,were touched regularly. As adults,we may be starved of such contact. In rightly recognising the dangers of touch,we dare not ignore its powerful and consoling effects. Physical touch is like powerful medicine: dangerous if applied carelessly,life-giving when used wisely.

David Reay