Touch deprivation…

Group of happy multicultural women standing together. Cartoon people embrace each other. Female friendship. International women’s day vector illustration

Luke 13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

Jesus didn’t always touch people to heal them, but he often did. As in the story above. There is something very powerful about human touch as it fills a fundamental human need. Not everyone has the same level of need for touch, but we all have it.

There is a stereotype that Hispanic people tend to be more affectionate – touchy/feely than other ethnic groups. And while this is not true of everyone of Latin heritage, I would say this is my nature for sure. That said, as an adult male I have to be careful about who I touch and how. My options are pretty limited in today’s world in which touch is more readily interpreted as “harassment”. I absolutely support the need to respect other peoples’ personal boundaries, but it does make touch more mechanical for me than it might otherwise be.

That said, all the social distancing we are living into (by necessity) has made me miss touch all the more. Even something as simple as a handshake is a powerful human connection that is largely absent right now. Or standing close to someone while in conversation, much less exchanging an embrace. So I am praying earnestly for God to rid us of coronavirus, or at least bring about medical advancement so as to neutralize it. Many people are withering on the inside, including me.

Lord let it be so. Amen.

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