Thursday, September 17, 2009

Snuggle Night

today was one of those dreary, rainy days, which can only mean one thing-norah jones. ideally while curling up in a ball and snuggling on my bed. =)

tragically, i missed out on both of those today. but, the need for snuggle-age got me thinking, thinking about the power of touch. my tutoring kids LOVE to snuggle. even the kid who gave me the stink face for two solid weeks surprised me just the other day with a hug! the type of snuggling varies, from daily hugs to playing with my hair(you should see the "prom hair" some of the girls gave me one day) to the most recent development, playing with my hands. luckily for me, i love snuggling with them just as much, and giving hugs is in fact one of my all-time favorite things to do.

so i got to thinking, we must be programmed to desire human touch. duh, jeannie. but what's really intriguing me is the healing that comes from it. there is a restorative power in physical touch, a power and joy that i feel everytime i give or receive a hug from a friend or snuggle with a kid.

then it dawned on me--this is exactly what Jesus did. He healed people with a physical touch. Acts 19:11-12. Luke 8:44; 13:13. Mark 6:56. just a sampling of examples of Jesus laying healing hands on the sick and wounded. it's like the quote by St. Francis of Assisi--"preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words." before the Gospel was even in print, healing could be found in a simple touch.

Luke 8:40-48 is my favorite. Here we have Jesus making his way through a swarming crowd, on his way to heal a dying young girl. along the way, however, another woman with an incurable sickness touches the mere edge of Jesus' cloak and is instantly healed. i think what makes this passage especially beautiful to me is that it's the woman reaching out. it shows our desperation for healing, our longing for a chance to just touch and experience the source of such a power. but it also shows our fear from the ways in which we have made this awesome power into something destructive. immediately after the woman is healed, Jesus asks 'Who touched me?' and the woman, after initially denying it, comes forth trembling, falling at Jesus' feet. our brokenness has twisted the power of touch into something often to be feared, has caused us to build up walls to protect ourselves from the dangers that now are associated with it.

but Jesus doesn't stop there. he listens to the woman and her story and tells her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you." a powerful touch + a few powerful words = restoration in a moment of beauty. i imagine the joy she felt feels much like the joy i have when receiving a hug or getting a prom-do. =)

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