faithbook A message for quiet meditation
by JAN FARROW, Lay Reader at Holy Epiphany
At last, we may not yet be quite there with the hug and holding hands, but it’s on its way. We can smile, although with a mask that’s not always so easy to convey, and recently I have been struck by just how important body language is. Having spent a year in very difficult circumstances, I think most of us are ready to greet our public and are looking forward to when we can hug our friends and family once more, if not everyone we meet!!!
Touch has always been important to us as human beings, and Jesus understood this.
Dear Doubting Thomas, it was not until he could actually touch Jesus, feel the print of his wounds, that he believed. Even seeing was not believing. Perhaps in today’s society where virtual reality is fast becoming the norm, we can appreciate that to actually reach out and touch a living person is much more powerful than virtual reality.
No other form of communication is so universally understood; the compassionate touch of a hand or a reassuring hug can take away our fears, soothe our anxieties and fill the emptiness of being lonely. True words, spoken by Randi G Fine.
How poignant that Jesus reached out to touch and heal the leper, the untouchable, the man shunned by all society except for his fellow sufferers. There are of course other stories of Jesus healing specifically by touch, but I suppose the story that really sticks in my mind is the parable he told of the Good Samaritan. Here is a man beaten and robbed, left dying in the road. The two people you would have expected to help pass by on the other side. They are ritually clean, ready to perform their duties in the temple, and don’t want to be made unclean by touching the injured man and therefore unable to perform their religious duties. Along comes a Samaritan, a hated and despised member of the society of that time. He tenderly and compassionately binds the man’s wounds and leads him to a place of healing and safety, and furthermore pays up-front.
I think Jesus would have rather liked that illustration we began with. How you make others feel says a lot about who you are. As we try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus let us be tender hearted and compassionate, seeking to bring wholeness and healing to both friend and stranger, friend, and maybe even foe. It doesn’t have to be complicated or seemingly religious, it could be as simple as a friendly word, a smile, a touch.