courtesy of Bro. Andrew Fenner, Ormskirk
As humans we are naturally tactile. Touch is one of our five senses and we use it constantly. We squeeze fruit to see if it is ripe or run our hand across the fabric of an item of clothing. We are also used to touching each other in social situations – the business handshake, the loving hug or the greeting kiss. In these times of social distancing we are asked not to go within six feet of each other, never mind embrace someone. The only physical contact we are likely to have is with those in isolation with us. If we are on our own we may not feel the embrace of another human being for many weeks.
Jesus used touch throughout his ministry. When he was healing the blind,
“Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him” (Matthew 20:34).
In another incident an ill woman knew that,
“If only I may touch his garment, I shall be made well” (9:21).
Ultimately Jesus was betrayed by touch as
“his betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘Whomever I kiss, he is the one; seize him’” (26:48).
So, what comfort can we draw from the Bible in these trying times?
The writer of Ecclesiastes (traditionally thought to be King Solomon) wrote that there is,
“A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” (3:5).
Never before has that reference been as pointed as it is now! But if we are living through a time where we must “refrain from embracing” then there will be a time when we shall be free to embrace again.
For those who appreciate the promise of the kingdom, we know this earth will be transformed from the disease-ridden place it is now, to one of peace, health and joy. This is just a temporary state and soon it will pass. Ultimately the world that we shall live in will be much better than what went before.
(quotations are from the NKJV)