The Power of Touch

August 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Karen King –

The Power of God’s Touch:
The hand of God hath touched me. Job:19:21
Then touched He their eyes..and their eyes were opened. Matthew 9:29-30
He touched His ear, and healed him. Luke 22:51How do I comfort someone who is bereaved, wounded, or brokenhearted? This has been a question that has kept many people from reaching out to someone who is in need of a show of love when they really wanted to comfort that person. “I don’t know the words to say,” or “I don’t know what to do when I get there.” These are common and very real reasons for people not reaching out.

I have found that touch is a very powerful way to communicate what words cannot say. Jesus was a toucher. There is a feeling that passes from one person to another in the power of touch that can soothe when nothing else can.

A dear friend of mine once told me the story of her youngest daughter. My friend had been very busy earning her doctorate and had not spent a lot of hands-on time with her two daughters in recent months. One day, she came home to find a letter addressed to the children’s grandmother in the mailbox. The postage on the front of the letter was green stamps. Many of you may not know about those today, but they were stamps you earned at the grocery store that could be traded in for prizes when a certain number of stamps were accumulated. Anyway, my friend removed the letter and opened it, only to read: “Dear Grandmother, Please come and get me. No one around here loves me anymore. Love, Susie.”

It turns out that my friend’s daughters were very different. One was a “toucher” and the other was not. It seems that the youngest had not been receiving her quota of touches lately and thus felt unloved. Being a child, she was not afraid to ask for what she needed. Tears sprang to my friend’s eyes as she realized one of her girls was hurting.

We are all wired differently. Some of us are born touchers and others are just not. But there are times when touching is one of the most caring ways to reach someone. Sometimes God leads us to move out of our comfort zone for the sake of others.

In this day and age, many are hesitant to touch anyone because of possible negative connotations. It is a shame that there has been so much inappropriate touching that often appropriate, caring touching is avoided due to fear of its being misunderstood. I was wired to be a toucher. I often touch others in love, friendship or to comfort and I like to be touched also. I was just born this way.

I realize that many people who are friends of touchers just are not comfortable with touching or being touched. All of us are different. This is something that we get to know about someone as we get to know them. However, under the right circumstances, touch is like a balm soothed over a heavy, weary or discouraged soul. This is often true of even people who would consider themselves non-touchers. Sorrow, pain and a broken heart can change our needs dramatically. Jesus used touch many times. Whenever he touched anyone, they were changed. What better example than Jesus Christ?

There are times when words are just not appropriate because there are no words. Even quoting Scripture to someone in the raw moments of catastrophe and loss will usually fall on deaf ears. Grieving people are usually more receptive to Scriptures a little further along. But a touch, a hug or simply weeping with that person can be done by any Christian and it is often the most powerful method of comfort. The most that you have to lose is a rebuff from a very few people, but, oh, what you have to gain in ministering to most people. Will you risk it? Will you be the one to reach out and touch hurting people in this often disconnected world? In doing so, you may lavish the love of Jesus on a wounded soul that is desperately in need of His touch and is all out of green stamps!

About Karen King

Comments

7 Responses to “The Power of Touch”
  1. Jo Ann Fore says:

    Karen, thank you for reminding us of the healing power of touch. In a society where pre-teens are taught hands-on and professional adults are taught hands-off, this reminder cuts through the deception :)

  2. S Berry says:

    I am that friend and remember our many summers together trying to work through the grief and healing that Karen so desperately needed. She is right — sometimes, words are simply not enough! At one point she pleaded, “I just need someone to hold me.” The Lord allowed me to be that person thus bringing grace to both our lives. SRB

  3. Beth Greer says:

    Thank you for this article Karen. You are so gifted in your writtings and this particular one blessed me so today. Especially describing the two daughters since I have two you described to a tee.

  4. Sue Duffy says:

    karen, with permission of this Web site, I would like to rerun this piece in Reach Out, Columbia. Please advise.
    Thanks,
    Sue Duffy
    Editor
    Reach Out, Columbia magazine

  5. Ginny Brant says:

    Great words of wisdom. Reminds us all that we are all unique in how we respond to others. Some need more touch than others.

  6. Karen King says:

    My sweet Jo Ann, thank you for hitting the heart of the article dead on. But then you would since we think so much alike!!

    Sharon, thanks for being my dear, dear friend for so many years with plenty of green stamps and a very much needed loving embrace when words wouldn’t do. I think there was quite a bit of weeping, too!

    Dearest Beth, I’m glad this article applied to you today. Our kids really are not always wired the same, are they? Praying for Tom and for you as you minister this week.

    Dear Sue, I’m sure there won’t be any problem with republishing this article but I’m running it by my editor just to be above board about it. I also need to call you about that longer article we spoke of. I’ll send you a note and we can talk about what you would want on my testimony article.

    Thank you all for taking the time to stop by and read this offering.

    Karen

  7. Karen King says:

    Thanks for stopping by to read my article and for leaving such a kind comment, Ginny. You guys are certainly on my prayer list. Give Mollie a hug for me!

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