I’m not a touchy person. I always appreciate those warm people I meet who will greet me with a hug or give me a pat on the back but it doesn’t come naturally to me to initiate touch with those outside my immediate family. I’m shy too so when when I’m talking with people I don’t usually make a lot of eye contact. If someone is standing close when talking to me the shy side of me will usually cause me to take a step or two back to put some space between us. It’s not that I don’t like people or feel comfortable around them, it’s just that I’m a little shy by nature.
God’s working on that though. People need touch. People need to be looked in the eye to feel, “I see you and care about you.” God wants to reach out and touch and hold people who are hurting. God wants to look people in the eye and let them feel His love. God has a strange way of fulfilling this desire though. He wants to use my hands and my eyes to do these things.
1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Yesterday I was out by myself getting lunch at Chick fil A. I saw a skinny woman with long gray hair on the corner across the street holding a cardboard sign that read, “homeless” on it.
I spent the few extra dollars and bought her a sandwich and a bottle of water. After I had gone through the drive thru and drove back around the building where I had seen her she was gone. I sat in my car and ate my lunch wondering where she had gone and what I was going to do with an extra sandwich. I finished eating and pulled out of the parking lot when I saw her in another parking lot.
I pulled up and got out of the van. “Hey girl!” I said as I approached her, “I saw you but then didn’t know where you went.” (that’s me being awkward and trying to think of something to say..) She had gone inside to use the bathroom and get a free water. “Are you hungry?” I asked her. “I bought you a sandwich.” “Yes ma’am!” she responded eagerly taking the bag and then with a big toothless grin held out her arms. There was a split second where I recoiled inside but I immediately saw in my mind my arms as the literal arms of Christ and was able to hug her and let her hug me. For a moment she searched my eyes as I smiled into hers. “God bless you.” she said and I told her the same. As I pulled out I saw her eagerly unwrapping the food as if she was really hungry.
I was hesitant to write about this because of Christ’s command to “let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth”. I’m not writing this though to brag that I bought a homeless woman a cheap sandwich. I wanted to share this little thing that God has been working in my heart. That He is teaching me how to physically surrender my body to be His tool to love people even when I feel uncomfortable.
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
This concept applies to my role as a mother. I know I can not ask God to keep my children safe and healthy and then grumble about having to diligently supervise them and cook them healthy food. My body is the means God uses to feed and keep these kids safe. Yes, I believe God does miracles but day to day he wants to use this tool that is my surrendered body to serve and bless those around me.
As I have read the gospels over the years it always sticks out to me how much Jesus TOUCHED people. I think I notice it because I don’t like germs and touching strangers seem weird. Jesus without hesitation TOUCHED lepers. Those people surely hadn’t been touched by another human being in years! He also let snot nose kids climb all over Him and while I like kids, I don’t like holding other people’s babies sometimes because I don’t like snot and drool or poop. That may sound funny but I’m just using that as a way to make this point- Jesus was and is AMAZING! Boogers, snot, tears, fevers, skin diseases, blood issues- he didn’t recoil, he touched, He loved, He cared.
How can you use the power of physical touch to minister God’s love to someone today? What is an area of your life that God is growing you in right now?