Exactly a month ago I met with a road accident in which I fractured my thigh bone. It required surgery and hospitalisation for a week. During my stay in the hospital, doctors, nurses, technicians and helpers had an open access to my body. They could touch me in places I would never have allowed anyone before. Not only just touch – they could cut, pierce, enter, expose, rub, press, any part of my body. Of course with the good intention of eliminating the basic cause of my suffering.
I had previously thought that doctors and healthcare workers had a healing touch that would relieve stress, calm nerves and ease tension. But what I got to experience in the hospital was far from it. Many hospitals claim to provide the healing touch and some even flaunt it as a brand name. Healing Touch is the name of a therapy that uses gentle hand techniques to help re-pattern the patient’s energy field. I have no knowledge or expertise to comment on them.
But what I do know is the healing touch of Jesus that I have experienced myself and read about in the Bible. Jesus’ healing touch is full of compassion and tenderness. It is a gesture that shows his empathy, and offers comfort. Jesus’ healing touch is usually accompanied by powerful words. He is not judgmental. He does not point an accusing finger at people. He is forgiving. He gives peace.
Many people used to come to Jesus from far and wide with the hope of just being able to touch him and the faith that his touch would heal them. There are many instances recorded in the Bible of Jesus’ healing touch. The most touching story is that of Jesus’ interaction with a man having leprosy who in those days would have been treated as an untouchable and an outcast and kept at a distance. (Mark 1:40-41) One such man came to Jesus, fell on his knees and begged Jesus, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” What did Jesus do? He responded in a manner no one else would have. He touched the man disfigured and maimed by leprosy, held him close and said, “Of course, I am willing. Be clean!” And at once, the leprosy left the man and he was cleansed.
Then there is the story of two blind men. (Matthew 20:29-34) Jesus was walking from one town to another and a large crowd was following him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, have mercy on us!” Jesus did not ignore them, but he stopped by to enquire. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
That was two thousand years ago. But even today, Jesus does not ignore my cry. He stops by to ask what I want. He talks with me, walks with me, comforts me, touches me where it hurts me the most. That is the healing touch of my Saviour. It is magical, mysterious and miraculous.