Sunday, February 15, 2009

That Touch

"A man came to Jesus with a bad skin disease. This man got down on his knees and begged Jesus saying, 'If you want to, you can heal me.' Jesus put his hand on him with loving pity. He said, 'I want to. Be healed.' At once the disease was gone and the man was healed." Mark 1:40-41

Yesterday we took a drive and went for a walk on the beach. The wind was fierce and the air was cold. Despite the seasonal discomfort, there is something about walking in the sand, watching the waves break and the sun dance on the water that is very restorative for me. Very healing. Somehow, there is God's touch in that place for me, a hand reaching out and wiping away the most recent scars of life's battles. The seagulls scream and the surf pounds and I am given real peace. We could only walk for a little distance because neither of us dressed properly for the day. But no matter. God found me.

The Gospel for today tells the story of a man with a horrible skin disease who kneels and begs Jesus to heal him. His disease was obvious and people avoided him, kept their distance - isolated him for every aspect of life. No one touched this guy. And yet Jesus touched this man and told the man that his desire was to heal him. The Savior of the world wanted to touch the most despised untouchable and make him whole, no questions asked.

Today, I want to remember that God aches to touch the most despised untouchables, including me. God want to touch and heal the places in me that even I am afraid of. God's activity is loving kindness, loving pity and an ache to make us whole. Whether we feel we have been discarded and isolated, or whether we are those at the center of everything, God's desire is to find us and wipe away the scars of our battles and bring us peace. May we all have the courage to fall at the feet of Jesus, seeking out that touch and that restoration. The loving hand of God is reaching out for us. May we remember to offer up our own needs and offer that loving touch to others in need.

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