When I picture Jesus healing people I think of touch. Like the blind man where he mixes up the mud, or the dead girl where he takes her hand, or the woman who was bleeding and she touches him. Touch is a very important healing tool and it brings us deeper into relationship with one another.
Now that I am home from Lui South Sudan I realize how little touch is involved in greeting one another here. When you are greeted in Lui your hand is shaken, really taken and shaken, and then if there is something that causes deeper agreement with one another you change where your hand is and shake by the thumbs connecting to the forearm. Isaac is a great hand shaker. Whenever he laughs you are taken closer by the latter hand shake and held firmly in his grip until his laughter is over. The thing is all this touch brings you into closer relationship with the people.
Now that I am home I miss that touch. I miss slapping hands at the market or if you know them better the hand shakes. I miss sharing something deep and being taken closer to someone with the other hand shake. I miss the understanding that comes with touch.
We have become untouchable because we greet one another from afar saying hello and not much else. We think we have to accord everyone a certain amount of personal space. This space has allowed us to drift away from real chances of being able to heal one another. Because being in relationship with one another should involve touch. It is a gift from Jesus to us and helps us see that we are a part of community, accepted and loved.