Handle with Care : How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry
Our culture is in a time when reports of inappropriate touch are commonplace. In the church, we're not doing much better. On one hand, we give side hugs or instate six-inch rules. On the other, we find out-almost daily-about sexual misconduct, affairs, and abuse inflicted within our own walls. Singles are staying single longer, dating is wrought with angst over purity, and marriages struggle to not interpret all forms of touch as sexual. We can't even talk about touching our own bodies without the underlying assumption that it must be sexual. There is simply no place in our culture-and in the church-where touch doesn't seem threatened or threatening. In the laws within the Old Testament, there is a form of one statement made 38 times: "Do not touch." Everything seems off-limits to the people of God. But a curious thing happens in the New Testament when Jesus comes into his ministry: He touches. Jesus touches the sick and the outcasts, the bleeding and the unclean. What could it mean for families, singles, marriages, churches, communities, and the world to have healthy, pure, faithful, ministering touch? Somewhere in the mess of our assumptions and fears about touch, there is something beautiful and good and God-given. As Jesus can show us, there is ministry in touching.