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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Touching the untouchable

There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue.
At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. - Mark 7:32,33,35
Two of the things that amaze me the most about Jesus are, first, that He never settled down for what was considered to be the 'right' way of doing things, He never played according to the book of rules imposed by the religious people of his time, and second that He knew the importance of a touch in the process of healing.

Jesus was not afraid of what anyone would say about him, if they called him crazy or even demon possessed. Jesus didn't care if his doing was considered strange to the eyes of religion because of two things: He was constantly focused on his mission, thus having no time to spare to care about gossip or anything that could divert him from what was really important; He cared too much about people, about the ones in desperately need of Him, to listen to the selfish complaints of those who were self centered and that thought of themselves as superior.

Jesus also knew that the wounds we carry deep inside of ourselves are sometimes bigger than any physical disabilities we may have. We can see some times in scripture he saying first "your sins are forgiven" and later saying "stand up and walk", not because that person didn't need a cure or a restored limb, but because He knew deep inside what was truly wrong with that person, what disturbed them the most.

But these two things are intimately linked when we consider that to many religious people what is important is the outside, what people see when they look at us. Many of them don't really care what's going on inside of us, how do we feel, if we are sad or lonely, if we are feeling insecure or vulnerable. When they ask us how we're doing it's almost as if they expect us to say in return "I'm fine, thanks", and move on, no questions asked, no deeper emotional involvement.

But this is not the case for Jesus, Jesus is committed to our whole selves, not only if we look fine. He's interested in our spiritual health, as much as our physical or emotional one. He cares, really, deeply and sincerely about us, his children, so much so as to touch us, as to hug us if so needed.

It reminds me of so many testimonies I've heard or even experienced them myself about how people were touched and transformed by the gospel of Christ less because of what one said and more because of a single, inconspicuous touch, the warmth of the skin, of one's body against another who perhaps have never experienced that sort of kindness before, or maybe doesn't even remember how's it like to be loved, hugged, touched in a good way, for having lived so long in abandonment or hardness...

My prayer today is that God shows us the importance of loving one another even if we need to touch the untouchable, the outcasts of society, the ones no one dares to touch, even the ones religion says no to. God bless.