A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, "If you choose, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I do choose. Be made clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them. But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. Mark 1: 40-45 (NRSV)
Sam Wright lives in Florida. His mind was reeling over their daughter's premature birth, her birth defects, and then having to leave his wife in another hospital. At the neonatal intensive care unit there, he stood watching his baby. She looked so tiny and fragile. Then a nurse said, "Touch her. She needs your touch." Sam hesitated, but the nurse insisted. The notion that the awkward touch of a dazed father could contribute to her healing surprised him. While Sam gently touched her, he thought of how she needed God's healing touch just the way all of us do at times.
When in profound grief, Sam has felt God's love in a friend's hand on his shoulder. When other Christians have laid their hands on Sam in prayer, he has experienced a divine joy and peace he never knew before. Their hands were God's hands for Sam.
Although we cannot physically feel God's hand as his tiny daughter felt his, we can experience God's presence as we are healed, comforted, blessed, calmed, and transformed through the actions of those who love us.
Prayer: O God, thank you for surrounding us with your healing love. Thank you for giving some people the gift of touch that heals, in Jesus' name, amen.