“Who touched me?” (Luke 8:45)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I didn’t realize this until right now, as I’m about to send this devotional out, that it could be linked to yesterday’s devotional on tattoos.
I went to the doctor last week. About 6 months ago my new doctor noticed on my chart that I had a small bit of skin cancer removed from my forehead awhile back and he thought it would be a good idea that, since I was a full-blooded Norwegian with fairly light skin tones, that I should have a full body scan to see if there were any other pre-cancer spots hidden somewhere. Without Bethany here to schedule things I’m amazed that I was actually able to make it to the appointment.
So I was directed to the examination room and as I’m waiting, in comes his PA; a young gal. I asked her how long it would be before the doctor comes in. She told me she was the one who is going to do the full body scan. Here I am, sitting on a really cold bench in that robe that opens from the back. I said to her, “Oh! I thought my doctor was going to it.” She notices my apprehension and assures me not to worry because “she’s seen it all before” and so I could relax. It wasn’t very reassuring to me. I began to murmur under my breath, “But you haven’t seen…” And then she says, “Up on the table!”
So as I sat down on the examination table I thought, “Oh well, here we go” and she proceeded with way more confidence than I thought she should have!
She starts at my head. As she is gently combing through my scalp with her fingers, feeling for any lumps, I told her she could do that for as long as she liked. It felt very nice. She checked my back and the all I can say is that the touch of a human hand felt absolutely wonderful. I can’t quite explain it. She continued with her very thorough check up and was very thorough. Good news was that she found nothing. The other good news was, it was a lovely experience! 🙂 I felt nourished.
All this to simply say, I didn’t know how much I have missed human touch since Bethany died. We were always hugging one another, falling asleep in one another’s arms, warming my cold feet on her warm back. There is something quite powerful about touch. It reminds me of when the woman with the issue of blood touched the robe of Jesus. He stops and asks, “Who touched me?” The disciples were perplexed because the crowd was thronging him with everyone reaching out to him. But Jesus continued, “I perceive that virtue has gone out of me.” And in that statement is a window to look into the heart of God. The Greek word for “virtue” is “dunamous” and it is the word from which we get the word, “dynamite!” Jesus said that he perceived power coming out of him because this woman touched him by faith, even if it was just the hem of His garment. She was able to still touch something in Him that released power into her.
I believe that the touch of another human being has more power in it than we think. I’ve heard stories of neglected babies who have not had any human touch. They wither. Many become sick and in some cases have died, simply because of the lack of human touch.
With this crazy epidemic going on, social distancing has become the norm. I’ve had people recoil and walk backwards from me as I walked towards them. You’d think I had the plague! Whatever you may think about the science of this virus, I know it is demonically inspired to keep people away from touching and interacting with one another on a deep level. It attacks the very heart of God’s design for human interaction.
The Bible also shows the power of human touch. It is called the “laying on of hands”. Something happens when people touch. There is a transfer of something powerful from one person to another and sometimes we are not even conscious of it.
The word for hand in Hebrew is “Yad”. The ancient Jews believe that the heart of man was in their right hand. When you shook hands with someone you were taking that person’s heart in your hand and into your heart and were holding it. It was a sign of trust and the assurance you were going to do what you said you were going to do. With dear friends, it was a warm greeting, affirming that you hold one another’s heart safely in your hand and in you heart.
If you add an “a” at the end of the word “yad” you get “yada” which means “to know someone personally and intimately”. It’s used when “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain” (Gen 4:1)
And the word “yadiyad” means, “hand in hand”. When you walk hand-in-hand with your wife, you are affirming to her that you are holding her heart in your heart, where it is safe. You are walking, “yadiyad”! Bethany and I would be on a walk and I’d grab her hand and look at her, smile and whisper, “Yadiyad.” She’d whisper back, “Yadiyad.” Sweet.
We’ve all been hurt one way or another. We’ve all smelled the lovely fragrance of the Rose of Sharon when life was going good, and we have experienced the sweet fragrance of the Lily of the Valley when we fellowship in His sufferings. So, with Bethany gone, I write this to tell you to feel free, the next time we meet, to give me a big warm hug or hold my heart in your hand and give me yours and we can touch one another and receive strength and comfort. I need it! Perhaps more than you imagine. Perhaps we all need it, even more than we think.
And may God bless you for doing it! 🙂