I continue to meditate on the words I posted regarding Connection in my recent post of that title. You might want to read that along with this one.
I had a pastor friend named Howard many years ago. He once told a group of us that he wanted to buy his newspaper from a girl at the check-out lane. (Mostly women worked the check-out lanes at our local grocery.) We asked him why? He said, I started buying my paper from the metal box on the street. Then one day I was in near the store and went in for my paper. When I gave the woman a dollar, she returned the change and her fingers touched my palm. I knew I'd never buy a paper from the metal box again."
Now Howard was a happily married man. There was absolutely zero sexual overtone in what he said to us that day. He was introducing a devotional thought about how Jesus' touch was so key to his healing ministry.
Today, medical doctors speak of the same. That human touch is healing...vitally so. Babies must have human touch to thrive. Children find human touch natural--hugging, holding your hand, climbing into your lap and kissing a loved-one's cheek. Teens however, are forced to drop this habit in our society. (I wonder if we were more intimate in our non-sexual world, would there be less unhealthy sexual craving?) One of the articles below speaks of this.
I was told when entering the ministry that I should never hug a person in church. I break the rule with regularity. I know there are those uncomfortable with hugs, but there are others who know how to hug in a caring/non-sexual way. And this touch is so healing. There is an 87 year old saint in our congregation who won't let a Sunday pass without hugging me, and telling me she prays for me. She says she needs the hug.
Henri Nouwen speaks of a young mentally handicapped girl who asked for a blessing during one of his workshops. He gave her a canned sign of the cross, and said a quick blessing. She said, "No, I want a real blessing." He was moved to wrap her in the folds of his outer priestly robe and tell her how wonderful she was, how important to God and himself. Then he observed her spiritual radiance and renewed strength.
Now here is a disclaimer. I do not know the authors of the articles listed below, nor their affiliations. However, they seem to do a nice job of expressing the need for human touch. They seem to emphasize strong ethical/moral borders when it comes to touching. But they do suggest the vital need we humans have to be touched.
This link is to an article about the importance of touch for healing of our children. It also addresses briefly the taboos that are involved come adolescence.
Here is a blog post with more information about the necessity of human touch.
Well, I hope I haven't offended anyone. But in a world of cyber-connecting, I felt the need to emphasize the necessity of true connecting.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. And may he find someone to touch you with his grace.