Friday, February 26, 2010

The Power of Touch

The idea for “The Parable of My Life” came from a unique Bible study that I started many years ago. I am doing a word study on the Holy Spirit and am working through the Bible sometimes one verse at a time to find and meditate on scripture that contains the words Holy Spirit or Spirit. As I study, I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to me and often times, he will remind me of something in my own life and show me how he is like that or he will remind me of a moment past and show me how he was present in that moment. Today’s post is taken from this study written in response to Acts 8:15-19.

I was one of the lucky ones. I never ended up in the emergency room, I never thought he would really kill me, but I did know fear and suffering at the hand of my first husband. We were married exactly four days the first time he physically abused me because “we were married now and he didn’t have to pretend anymore.” In my world, a hand on my shoulder occurred in an abusive rage leaving bruises on the surface and a broken spirit within.

Later, God brought me into the company of those who placed their hands on my shoulder in prayer and in conversation leaving behind no evidence of contact. And yet, in that one seemingly small gesture, they offered extraordinary comfort, forgiveness, encouragement, and love that God used to restore the broken spirit within. The physical sensation of their touch representing their care and concern was empowered by the Holy Spirit who reached deep into my shattered soul to revive and heal it.

A touch yields unimaginable power to hurt or to heal and we have the choice, the responsibility, and the privilege to use that power as God directs. I know that in today’s society, appropriate physical contact is almost taboo because of how it could be misconstrued, and yet, when has God ever been politically correct? Having experienced the power of the Holy Spirit through the touch of another, how can we not pass that along as freely as it has been given to us? Be respectful, ask for permission first when needed, but never be hesitant. Have you hugged someone today? Pat someone on the back for a job well done? Put your hand on the shoulder of someone in need? Whom in your life today does God want to renew through the touch of your hand?

About the pictures:
Toronto, Ohio (September 09)

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