Monday, September 24, 2012

The Sense of Touch

A friend of mine is a physician and bit of a Renaissance Man.  Aside from being a skilled surgeon he studies French, geology, economics and is a marathoner.  This month, he’s organizing and hosting an association meeting of doctors in his specialty.  With great enthusiasm, he told me about a video he’s sharing with the other doctors.  After hearing him talk about it, I had to look up the video myself.  I, too, was mesmerized by the speaker’s passion about a simple thing like touch.  I’d like you to take 18 precious minutes of your life and watch this video.

Now, I’d like to remind you of one of the most remarkable moments in the life of Jesus.  Note the sense of touch in these Words from our Sponsor.

And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?”
And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.”
But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.”
When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.
And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

There is so much to speak about in this passage, but let’s focus on the Physician’s touch.  Jesus was walking through a crowd and noticed that someone touched Him.  Peter, the Attention Deficit Disciple, chides Jesus, “You’re in a crowd, Master, everyone touched you!”  But Jesus lived His life with such compassion that even in a crowd He sensed the touch of a person in dire need.  Jesus’ sense of touch went far beyond what Peter could conceive.  He sensed despair, sorrow, fear, and pain.  What a magnificent sense of touch!

When I was a teenager, my church youth group performed the “Celebrate Life” musical.  I’ve never forgotten one very powerful songs from that musical, “I Quietly Turned To You.”  It’s the songwriter’s interpretation of this moment between Jesus and the woman with a hemorrhage.  Do you have 4 more minutes?  I’d love you to hear the song performed.

Here’s the hook line:
Help of the helpless, friend of the friendless,
I quietly turned to you, and you turned to me.

It’s hard to go through this life without getting a few nicks and dings.  Some of us get outright smacked down.  You ever feel that way?  Abraham Verghese says a physician’s greatest skill is his touch.  He’s right, and the Great Physician, Jesus, demonstrated that sense of touch.  He brought healing to the woman.  Do you think He feels your pain, your sorrow, your need?  Don’t you think He wants to heal you as well?  Trust His touch.

By the way, did you pay attention to Abraham Verghese's closing thought?  Verghese concludes with a reflection on physician's touch conveys to the patient:

I will always, always, always be there.
I will see you through this.
I will never abandon you.
I will be with you through the end.

Hmmm... where have I heard that before?

Clark H Smith

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