This heading may be another one that got your attention or perhaps raised your eyebrows a little. 🙂 It’s all good. I was watching a video clip this morning and noticed a scene where a couple was walking together hand in hand. Hmm. Truth be told it made me a little sad that I have not had that opportunity. 🙂 It fostered some thoughts that I have had from time to time regarding the significance of human touch. I’m not going down the road of sexual touch here but the principles here will emphasize the even greater significance of sexual touch.
So…holding hands is a very simple gesture yet as I witness it in a pure form isn’t it a profound display of connection? Someone willingly (hopefully) taking part of someone and clinging together; demonstrating significantly that your are “with them”. Not alone.
A pat on the shoulder likewise demonstrates physically that you really see the other person and their presence. A hand-shake, perhaps it may turn into a routine but it really does have a relational significance. I admit I may be more aware of this as a man that has struggled with same sex attraction and connecting to men in a healthy way. The handshakes, pats on the back, and even hugs are pretty significant to me – healthy connections to brothers in Christ.
When I think of the impact of handshakes I quickly go to a man in my previous church that was always quick to put out his hand to greet me; no matter the circumstance. I admired the man for this trait and have yet to really challenge myself to emulate his character. Bob S. may you rest in peace my brother, I miss your handshakes! In my current church, I often witness a high school young man demonstrating this trait of connecting with people with a handshake. I admire him for his maturity in recognizing and connecting with others.
There are other instances like this that I am so grateful for. I recall one Sunday morning a few years ago where a young man patted me on the shoulder from behind in greeting me. He didn’t know me; yet made an effort to connect and introduce himself. I was blown away; appreciative of his willingness to connect and greet me in a very personal way.
I just did a google search on physical touch in the Bible and some of the references that stood out to me included:
– Laying on of the hands in prayer
– Greeting with a Holy kiss
– Washing of the disciples feet
– Jesus reaching out and touching the leper
Also consider how it is often the case near death that hands are held, likewise we understand the significance of human touch with new born babies.
Without a doubt I believe God intended us to connect with one another and it involves physical touch. May we all be more alert to how God may be prompting us to connect with one another; a handshake, fist-bump, pat on the bag, or hug. Perhaps it will serve as a goal for this New Year 2020! ~Stan