When I was growing up I loved to get my back scratched. My brothers and I would usually have betting competitions with the winner of the bet getting 5 minutes of nonstop back scratching....just heaven when I would win!
Touching is such an important part of living. Touching those we love. Hugging friends. Touching those with whom we are with to emphasize a point. Something tangible and palpable is nonverbally exchanged when that touch-thing happens.
When we have a healing service, the healing ministers touch, lay their hands on, the individual with whom they are praying. This is a very personal and powerful moment between the healing minister and the one seeking prayer, that a touch is absolutely a needed part of the service. This is much like what we have in today's Gospel selection, the healing (raising) of Jairus' daughter and the healing of the hemorrhagic woman.
Jairus asks Jesus to come lay his hands on his 12 year old daughter who lay dying. In route this woman who has been hemorrhaging for 12 years says to herself that If I but touch the fringe of his cloak I will be healed, which happens. When Jesus arrives at Jairus' house he is told that the daughter is already dead, but he ignores the crowd's scoffs, goes into the child and takes her hand, he touches her, and heals her.
Who in our life needs a light touch from us? Who needs to know that they are not alone and that this small human contact can provide such a healing? This is a powerful text providing a simple way for us to help others....and ourselves.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.