Longing to Touch
I miss the touch of others. I try to be careful not to be too much of a touchy-feely kind of person, but I must admit I need human touching. Hugs, handshakes, an arm around the shoulder, etc.
I have discovered during my more than 25 years of church ministry that touching is essential. When someone is near death, inevitably the desire to touch seems to be one of the last senses to fade away, usually long after speech and sight. People dying want to touch another person. Holding a hand, touching an arm, or kissing the forehead of those who are breathing a final bit of oxygen is profound.
One of the most well known stories of Jesus is when he visited the apostles after his resurrection and told Thomas "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe" (John 20:19-31).
Touching is comforting, reassuring, connecting us, literally. Once social distancing restrictions are lifted and we can once again touch one another, I plan to do a lot of hugging and holding hands.
One of the favorite parts of our worship service at Community Church that almost everyone enjoys is at the end when we hold hands while singing "Song of Peace," While the YouTube video worship services are meaningful and help us tremendously during this pandemic, I look forward to seeing our church family reunited in our church building, where we will once again touch one another and feel compassion, kindness, and love.