I just read a facinating article about the power of human touch. Patients touched by their doctor perceived their visits to have lasted twice as long as patients who weren’t touched. Students who were touched by their teachers were twice as likely to volunteer in class. The human touch can ease depression. The human touch can improve relationships
In a Cal Berkley study touches among teammates on NBA teams were measured. Among all NBA teams who do you suppose touches the most? The top two are the Boston Celtics and the L.A. Lakers — the last two NBA champions.
For the full story see the New York Times .
Touching, appropriately of course, is one of the most effective ways of communicating God’s love to others. People who are lonely and/or depressed have shared with me that, at times, they would give their right arm just to feel the touch of another human.
A friend who does counseling once told me that a patient of his came back to visit him a few years after her counseling sessions had ended. She was doing extremely well and credited my counselor friend with her improvement.
“What was it that made the difference?” he asked, “The wisdom I shared? My insights into your family life perhaps?”
“No,” she replied.
“It was the hugs.”
Imagine with me what it must have meant to the leper that Jesus touched in Mark chapter 1. In Jewish society at that time, it was illegal to touch a leper — illegal. Lepers walked while speaking the warning, “Outcast, unclean. Outcast, unclean,” so people could stay clear and completely avoid any possibility of touching. It’s hard to think of someone who would crave the touch of another human more. Disregarding man’s law Jesus reached out. His physical touch accomplished amazing things with the leper. I want to encourage you to get in the habit of physically touching those you love. And beyond that, find others who will be encouraged by your touch — you know who they are. Show people God’s love. Do as Jesus did — touch them.
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.