Last week I had some minor surgery (removal of a second cataract). The first one was a breeze. I talked all the way through it with both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. This second one was more difficult. They were measuring, ended up choosing a different lens and needed me to move my eyes at various times.
The first time, I really wasn’t aware of anything they were doing. I couldn’t see anything but a bright light. But this last time, I was well aware of a ton of things. It was definitely more involved.
About half way through the procedure, I felt someone take my hand. It was the anesthesiologist. He just grasped my fingers loosely and kept ahold of me throughout the procedure. When it was all over, he remarked that I had “done well” and revealed that he was the one holding my hand.
He said something like, “these young attendants don’t understand the power of the touch.”
He was right about the attendants (all young “twentysomes”). But he was also right about an important spiritual principle. There is great spiritual power in the touch. In Luke 4:20, Jesus was in the midst of healing many. “At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness and laying on His hands on each one, he healed them.”
I know He could (and did) heal with and without a touch, but it is significant to see the correlation to the physical contact. It mattered. It brought comfort. It made His healing so very personal.
And it still does.
So maybe we all ought to consider the power of our own touch. It certainly was comforting for me in the midst of a surgery. But I am sure that the folks I interact with every day could also use a sweet gesture that involves touching.
As you talk to a colleague this week, consider a well-placed and appropriate hand on the shoulder. Try a two-handed handshake. Tousle a kid’s hair. Do some strategic high fives with the teens in your life. Hug your spouse lots of times. Hold hands when you pray with someone.
Let’s let the power of our touch encourage someone else.