In this crazy time of isolation, we have become ultra-sensitized to what we touch. We scrub our hands every chance we get. Some of us have even taken to wearing gloves so as not to physically let our hands come in contact with anything. Almost any ability to touch another person has become verboten.
In the Gospel, Jesus heals by touching another person. He uses his bare hands to break bread and feed the Disciples. He speaks about being in their midst when one or two are gathered together. It is quite understandable why all of Christendom has come to feel so uncomfortable at being denied these simple person to person interactions. We know it is for our own protection and the welfare of others.
Hands have long been used to communicate. We put our hand over our heart to pledge allegiance. We wave with our hand to both greet and say good-bye. The deaf have learned to interpret hand signs in order to understand what is being said. There are also gestures both obscene and angry that express rage.
So, what can we do today.? Remember that childhood thing we learned in Sunday school where we interlaced our fingers and recited, “Here is the church and here is the steeple, open it up and see all the people.” Today there is not a physical presence in the church building, but with electronic technology Brian has brought us together and affirmed that we are still the church. Though we don’t touch with our hands we do with our hearts.
Oh yes, one more thing we can do with our hands, we can fold them in prayer. Pray for healing, pray for the world, pray for those we hold dear as well as the stranger. God is still there and still listening!
Rev. Dr. Fred Leasure, Parish Associate