The Gospel of Touch
Posted on October 2nd, 2014

Greetings from Cap Hill!

The gospel of touch. Jesus took a little child and stood him in front of them all, and putting his arm around the child, said, “Anyone who welcomes one little child like this for my sake is welcoming me. And anyone who welcomes me is welcoming not only me but the one who sent me!”

The gospel of touch. This snapshot of how Jesus lived his life, screams  volumes to me. The power of his invitation came with a congruent embrace.  Our culture is haunted by very high touch boundaries. Sometimes it feels like too much.

The gospel of touch.  It’s not uncommon for me to walk through the coffeehouse touching my friends: high 5’s, pounding the fist, quiet pats on the back… I’m sure all of our directors would consider this part of expressing the love of Christ.

The gospel of touch.  Sometimes it backfires. I touched a man I didn’t know and he started yelling, “Who do you think you are? Did I tell you it was OK to touch me?” I apologized. A friend gave me an article speaking of the power of touch. It’s the one sense that can never be entirely turned off. Touch has a very long memory. For some, touch is not associated with love.

The gospel of touch. Near the end of Vernon’s life, I went for a visit. He was asleep, and glad to be awakened. He pulled me from slouching in a distant chair. He wanted to have our knees touching and our hands holding. I’m not entirely convinced he remembered much about me, but he was certainly concerned about who I’d become! He wanted to make sure I felt loved. It made me feel certain that Jesus’ gospel will one day find a good long embrace.
Under the Mercy,


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