As a teen I went to a local nursing home with a group of friends. I often lagged behind the others as they walked down the halls.
I wasn’t a good singer.
I didn’t know what to say, especially when the residents didn’t have words to express first.
One day a hand reached for mine. She held tight. Her skin sagged and felt papery thin, almost as if it might tear at my touch. Suddenly it didn’t matter that I couldn’t sing. It didn’t matter that I felt out of place.
There was power in simply touching another human being.
I almost take for granted how many times I’m touched each day. My husband reaching for a kiss in the morning before work. His arms around me as I stand in the kitchen.
A grand baby nestled under my chin, her soft hair wispy around my face. My mother who instantly reaches for me when I see her. My daughters who sit close.
But there’s another touch that I pray I’ll never take for granted.
Recently I met a new friend and we sat together as she told me her story: Drugs. Rehab. Failure. Children. Lost relationships.
Yet there was joy in her face. Because there was a second half to her story. She had reached out to God.
People had given up on her but He touched her. She had tried to find ways to numb the pain and nothing worked, but Jesus did.
We sat and praised God for how His touch continues to change her thoughts, take up residence in her broken places, and help her discover a whole new way to live.
There’s another woman who was touched by Jesus.
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”
Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Mark 5:25-34 (NIV)
This woman found instant healing physically but we see that there’s more work to do. When Jesus looks around the crowd to see who was healed, she reacts in fear.
She was unclean. Everyone around her would tell her that she had no right to be touched by Jesus.
Except for one thing.
Our “unclean” status isn’t the primary factor. His holy touch is.
His touch overpowered cultural assumptions. It rocked doctor’s diagnoses that she’d never be well. It hurled every label that marked this woman’s life as far as the East is from the West.
He reached for her and helped her to stand tall.
Even that, touching her publicly, was part of the miracle. He was telling the whole world that she was worthy of touch.
A woman whose faith in Jesus made her well.
So today, I want to challenge you, my friend. I want you to reach out and touch someone today. Hold them close. Reach for the person’s hand who hasn’t been touched in weeks or years. Let the power of touch be a gift to someone else today. If you aren’t a hugging kind of girl, do it anyway.
But there’s a second challenge.
Open your heart to His touch. I don’t care what anybody says. You are not too broken. You are not too far gone. You aren’t beyond the miracle of His holy touch. What you said or did yesterday doesn’t eliminate you from His touch today.
Be that woman who reaches for the hem of His garment. In fact, let’s do it together and let His touch begin its holy work.
Suzie, you can weave a story with finesse. It can be easy to refrain from touch, but a touch says so much. Thank you for inspiring me to reach out a little more. I so badly want the touch of Jesus. I need it everyday. Love your post dear sister.
Precious pic of your family, Suzie:) And that passage of scripture is one of my all-time favorites. Have you heard the song “One Touch” by Nicole C. Mullen? A beautiful rendition of this story! Blessings to you today.
Kristine, I love that song! And Nicole C. Mullen!
What a beautiful picture of your family, Suzie. Love this post especially your encouragement to “Open your heart to His touch. I don’t care what anybody says. You are not too broken. You are not too far gone.” I needed to hear that today! Love you!
I absolutely loved this. I love that we have the chance to have a second half to our story and you’re right no one is too broken or too far gone. Thank you.
This is a great reminder of how special family is.and the healing touch of Jesus. My mom, who has alzheimer’s disease, reminds me of this every day.
Beautiful Suzie! I didn’t grow up with a lot of touch so I had to learn this as an adult. I can literally see the positive physical change it has on my spouse, my kids, and the students I serve everyday. Thank you for your thoughtful words on this subject.
Thank you for this beautiful reminder that I am not broken beyond the reach of the touch of the Lord 🙂
touch the hem of His garment. Amen.
And He heals all our brokenness. I wasn’t bad, just broken. But God…
Beautiful and so freeing Suzie. Thank you
“I wasn’t bad, just broken. But God…” AMEN, Susan!!!!!
I’m so glad you used those scriptures! A very favorite selection! Just to have faith and touch the Hem and feel His touch 🙂
” What you said or did yesterday doesn’t eliminate you from His touch today.” Thank you Jesus. Powerful post Suzie. I need Him every hour. I am just a mess without His touch.
Beautiful family! Thanks for sharing that sweet pic. Blessings on your ministry!
Imagine, if we would all just reach out and touch one person. A gentle pat on the shoulder to say “You are seen.” Imagine what could happen! Beautiful post Suzie!
Absolutely beautiful Suzie! I love your words, “Our “unclean” status isn’t the primary factor. His holy touch is.” The truth of your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing.
Oh Kamea, thank you for this comment. I so believe in this statement. His touch is what overpowers, overrules, heals anything that dares to impact or harm those whom God loves.
Those simple and beautiful touches can make all the difference for just one…each one. I know this from my fifteen years of caring for Mama and the touch to her as well as those residents around her. Especially to those who had no one else that came to see them…the touch with love and tenderness is something they need.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
Reaching, reaching for His garment, in all things today, Suzie… thank you for this amazing word. Sometimes all it takes is a brush of our fingertips, and He changes everything inside of us!
I love, love the photo- I am so glad you added it. Personal pictures help me feel connected to a blogger. I was thinking last thursdays post needed a pic of you and mom. Thanks for link-up love.
Suzie, this is my first time with your linkup. Have already read some good posts. I appreciate your post. Just recently in my nightly Scripture reading I read the story of the woman who touched His garment. And His reaction is not one of disgust,but love for this woman whom He healed. May God help us to reach out to others and show His love. Love your picture. I, too, have grandchildren I love to hold and hugs. My daughters sit close, too. 🙂
Thank you Suzi for hosting the link up. I even got the prompt and wrote on the power of touch. Thank you for encouraging us.
What a great and needful challenge! May we seize our opportunities to be the loving arms of CHRIST!
This woman who sought out His hem, for just a touch… it is probably one of my favorite stories in the Bible about God’s girls. She was desperate, she was needy, she was emptied of the world and had nothing left to lose and so much to gain. I love her story. I love her faith. And I realized something as I have read about her over and over… she was faithful for a long time and still no better. Sometimes, we think we need that immediate touch and the instant healing, and when she finally touched the One whose virtue was fully capable of complete restoration, it came. Her story reminded me of the power of redemption and the extreme grace of restoration. When God touches our hearts, our lives are healed inside and out. When God touches our bodies, even the past failures do not limit the restoration. He chose to exalt her in the faith she exhibited… and the need to reach for Him was honored in her bold act of faith.
Thanks for reminding me to examine this truth again. Your pictures are so precious, thanks for sharing the beauty of generational blessings.