Thursday, December 31, 2009

Touching others...

(In a post last summer, I wrote a little about the Five Love Languages, as written about by Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.  I explained how I found myself wondering if they apply to our relationship with God. This is the last (I think) in what has turned out to be nine posts as I've explored this topic.)
Love Language: Physical Touch
Physical Touch is the last love language on my list. I think this love language is unique in a special way...and perhaps that's why the devil has worked so hard to pervert it.

But the truth is that a physical touch made in the love of God is a very powerful thing. It can, in some miraculous way, affect a person on all three levels: physical, mental and spiritual--breaking down the barriers that we put up to protect our hearts and even bestowing spiritual gifts. Perhaps the very power of a physical touch is why those made in sin are so devastating.

When I started this little series thinking about my own love languages, I thought of the connection between physical touch and God's love and I remembered how I often envision myself curling up on the lap of my heavenly Father...experiencing His spiritual touch and equating it to a physical touch. That's how I thought of God touching me. But, you know, that's not a physical touch. That's an imagined physical touch.

Jesus gave physical touches all the time when He healed people. Parents brought their children to be touched by Him. He laid His hands on people all the time, and almost always touched those whom He healed.

How can we receive His touch now, though? That's the question I posed to God. For answer, He reminded me of a trip I made last summer.

We went to my aunt's wedding last July, and I got to see lots of family that I hadn't seen in years. I came back feeling so loved by God. I wondered why, for I'd enjoyed the little vacation and seeing family, but I didn't see why that would make me feel like I did--simply loved! Then, in a fraction of a moment, I saw all the hugs and handshakes I had received from numerous aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmothers, and God spoke to me. "Every one of those hugs was from Me, for the love they have for you is a small portion of the love I have for you," He said.

How does God give us physical touches of love? The simple answer is: through His body.

Think about it. If a part of my husband's body touches me...his hand on mine, his foot pressing mind under the table, his forehead against mine...he has touched me. If my best friend wraps her arm around me in a hug of greeting, she has touched me. If someone uses any part of their body to touch you, they have touched you.

What does this mean? If a member of the body of Christ touches you, you have been touched by God.

Last night, just as God whispered this to me, my daughter began coughing like crazy in her bed in the other room. I listened and sighed that she hasn't gotten rid of the last of this cough yet, and I instantly began praying again for her. But I stopped the moment I prayed the words, "Please touch her." What had He just shown me? My mind jumped ahead. "So, Lord, why are my touches in Your name not always accompanied by healings the way Jesus's were?"

Perhaps the answer seems obvious. Jesus's physical body obeyed His commands at least as well as your body and my body do, for the Bible says nothing about Him having seizures or suffering from paralysis. Yet...we, His body on this earth...don't.

Perhaps this is how the devil has so successfully warped and twisted the beauty of a touch made in Godly love...twisted so badly that the vast majority of the world has absolutely no idea what it would even look or feel like...because only the smallest fraction of His body is following His leading even half as well as your average human body.

Here's what I want to know. Am I an epileptic part of the body of Christ? Am I paralyzed finger or a stuttering voice? I'm afraid so, for the channels of communication that run between me and my Head don't function as I know they should.

Here's another thought. What if this is another reason why Hebrews says we shouldn't quit gathering together with other believers? For if we're never with other members of the body of Christ, we can't experience the blessings of His physical touch.


I feel like this post is quite short and almost totally vacant of the hope and inspiration that I prefer God to give me for my blog posts...yet I feel His call upon His church for 2010. Will we draw closer to Him and truly become His body?

So many are saying that the time is short until He returns. I do not know if He will return shortly or if there are still many scenes left for the world to play. Yet I do sense in my spirit that the time is short for those of us who claim His name to make a choice.

So many of us, in so many areas of our lives, have been part of the church of Laodecea that was neither hot nor cold. I believe that the reason He said He would "spit them out of His mouth" is because when we claim to be part of Him but do not live for Him, we are instead actively portraying Him falsely to the world that needs Him so much. We portray Him as a epileptic god, a partially paralyzed god, or a god that does not know what his right and left hands are doing.

He is not that, though...He is an all-powerful and all-consuming God! He needs His body to portray His power and glory in an all-consuming way, that we might bestow the touches from Him that He longs to give, both to them and to us! And the time is short for us to become filled with the fire of His Spirit and get rid of our lukewarm-ness.

I am excited for this next year. He has done more inside me this past year, I think, than all of the years previously...even though I seem to recall saying this before! Time is moving faster, for He is doing marvelous and amazing things. So I will close this year out with a simple quote from C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

Aslan is on the move!
...for God is on the move!

1 comments:

  • Crown of Beauty says:
    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    I love CS Lewis, and I love Aslan...

    And this is such an amazing post.

    Frankly, I have never associated the physical touch of God with the body of believers we call the local church...but you are so right.

    A baby that doesn't receive physical touch will not live... what an awesome thought.

    A meanignful touch, not tainted or perverted by wrongs motives... what a lovely way to convey love.

    A healing touch...

    Thank you for this post.

    Love
    Lidj

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