TOUCHING


At least one remarkable peculiarity of the NFL is the spectacle of enthusiastic players touching each other after successful plays. The players become emphatic on seemingly impossible plays where afterward, the players and circle each other one-on-one and begin to hug and pat down each other over various body parts but in particular even on the behind.

A highly successful slogan by Southern Bell in days gone by was to reach out and touch someone. The emphasis was stressed, and a proverbial marketing feature was to tap the consumer’s conscience and their need for physical contact with others.

And this is where at least in one place in American society we have gone astray. In our avarice, our profiteering, ever-expanding search for possessions we have oftentimes hidden ourselves in gated communities and ensconced deeply in our air-conditioned cars foreign away from other people. Denoted here is the American population seal away from the rest of society.

This is the problem. We have removed ourselves from the sensitivities of our fellow man. In our quest for success we have separated our own persons from the elements that sustain us. To illustrate the point: our beloved friend, Wilson, in the movie starring Tom Hanks, Castaway. The need to remain in contact with people is stressed over and over again to good effect in this video. The movie presents no denial of our need for physical contact with one another.

Even scientists reveal the critical need for young babies to experience the human touch. Universally accepted, young babies require the actual physical touch for healthy physical maturation and development.

And so is also true with God. It is one thing to intellectually accept the existence of God, yet our conscience yearns for the physical reality of our creator. Constant in the theme of Jesus is Jesus healing people through touch. So much so is this true one person’s blindness was healed through Jesus’ spittle.

When we shield ourselves… When we remove ourselves… And when we encased ourselves within safe zones away from other people our message is one of exclusion and rejection.

This is not the message of Christianity.

The message of Christianity is the embracement of the morning. In a word, is touching… Touching the rejected, the dejected, and the unwanted. It means to fully envelop those who are dirty, nasty, sick and disgusting. Whereas the world judges and merits people by the outside, Christians are to duplicate godliness and value people from their inside.

This touching involves holding, feeding, stilling, clutching, clenching, clasping, and otherwise immersing ourselves into the physical body of others. While our actions may appear invasive and scary it is necessary to reveal not only who we are but as our image bearers of God. It is not a matter of fear of dirt rubbing off on us and us to sidestep those who are considered undesirables.

In the end, it is we the Christians who are in fact undesirable made desirable by the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. Our quest as Christians is to reach out, to touch, too old, and to uphold all sense of righteousness through our love as expressed in us by Jesus Christ.

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