Several years ago I came across words of the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke about the power of touch” “Have you noticed how scorned, lowly things revive when they come into willing gentle hands of someone solitary?” Although hardly solitary, I find that a gentle touch is what life needs, and not just humans.
In our hypersensitive age regarding its corruption, especially when used inappropriately, and its possibility of abuse, we’ve backed off from using the power of touch as a healing force. But touch is important. During the height of the pandemic, as we feared being infected, the sick and dying longed to be touched. Facetime was a poor substitute for those who needed the hand of another human being.
Touching also heals us as we reach out to others longing to be touched, for we are all wounded in one way or another. Touching, holding something alive in our hands, whether it is the handoff another person, or an animal, or even a plant, bring us closer to God who is the source of life itself.
Prayer for the Day
As the dawn approaches, the gentle wind of your Spirit touches us,
Bringing us to the beauty of a new morning and the glistening light;
Embraced by the wonder of your creation, O Holy One,
We sense the change in seasons descending upon us.
Be present in our lives this day as we search to live your Gospel,
By caring for others in works of justice, mercy, and peace.
In the name of the One who shows us how to live,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language, and the last, and it always tells the truth.
- Margaret Atwood, Canadian novelist and essayist
When we honestly ask ourselves which person means in our lives the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.
- Henri Nouwen, teacher and writer (1932-1996)
A leper came to Jesus, begging him, and kneeling, he said to Jesus: “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
The Gospel According to Mark 1: 40-42