Hopefully Devoted: Touch

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This week I read a quote on one of my current favorite blogs, Live and Learn, by David Kanigan:

The skin hungers for touch, from cradle to grave. “Close silence—that’s all they need,” she whispered to me. (Kelly Corrigan, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I Am Learning to Say, January 9, 2018)

Thinking about this hunger for touch reminded me of the story Mark tells of Jesus healing the man with leprosy.

The Greek word is splagcnizomai. Bible Study Tool (online site) gives the definition: to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).

Knowing this, it troubled me when the NIV translates the word as “indignant” and the footnote in the NLT states that some translations use, “moved by anger.” Righteous anger might be indicate if one considers the ostracization of this man because of his condition.

Standard protocol would dictate that Jesus would give the verbal healing before he touched the man—but that’s just not how Jesus worked.

Could there possibly be anything this man needed more than physical healing?

How about human compassion and contact…touch.

Oh, the difference that’s made by the touch of the master’s hand.

Advent 9: Good Gifts

Todays’s thought comes from James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

For some reason this morning I started singing the old hymn, Give of Your Best to the Master.

It is the season for giving gifts.

Buying gifts when the girls were young and we were foster parents was not something I enjoyed. Do I sound like Scrooge?

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to give gifts. I just hated the way the kids counted their presents and made sure there was equity for all.

I dreaded hearing their pronouncement of: It’s not fair s/he got more than me.

Sigh. Like it was some kind of competition.

I don’t think I ever liked the gift giving part of Christmas. For so many years I was disappointed after not receiving the gifts I truly had my heart set on. I quit asking for things.

What would happen if we boycotted the whole gift giving insanity?

The best “gifts” my children ever gave me were the coupon booklets that they proudly (or forced) made in school. There were coupons for cleaning their room, or doing the dishes without being asked. They were the kinds of things that cost no money but demonstrated love and care.

They were gifts of time.

The best gifts are like that. They are gifts of time, of touch…of you.

Who could you give the gift of you to this Christmas?

You know who gave you the best gift, don’t you? He gave himself. Pretty good example to follow.

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