An issue was prolonging over days… a glimmer of hope was seen in the horizon, but paradoxically the very same rays seemed to also cause it to evaporate. My heart longed for a hug. I’m not talking about the type of hug where one blows kisses in the air darting the cheeks. I’m not talking about the hug that is like a hit and go. No! I’m talking about the type of hug that says everything that words can’t express. A genuine meaningful hug seemed to be a rare thing and my pride prevented me from asking another.
I didn’t realise I was in for a surprise! A friend (not one with whom I have had opportunities to truly bond with) decided to step into a situation and offer to meet a pressing need as a result of this lingering issue. I was in tears upon hearing her kind offer. As I just reached out to hug her to express my gratitude, I told her how worried I had been about this need. She just held me for a while (to me it seemed like a long while) and expressed her concern with a meaningful question.
It also reminded me of my best buddy on campus who would simply zoom in when I would feel low. This friend would simply pose a question, “Do you know why God blessed me with broad shoulders?” That was enough for me to lean against a pillar of strength and turn into a fountain of tears! He taught me a lot on friendship by being an example. I remember how he would still be there for me despite exams, even missing out on lectures. His words still ring in my ears despite it being decades since I last heard them!
“If I fail an exam, I can always repeat it next year…
but if a heart is broken it would take much longer to heal”.
And yes, you guessed right! He never failed an exam as God honoured his right motives. He was indeed a vessel of God’s love – and he reached out to me who was then “a wanna be” Christian.
Believe it or not, these hugs make me think of a power generator! Fears diminish being replaced by a sense of belonging and acceptance. A new bout of energy radiates. The touch of healing! A hug that fits all and costs nothing has so much of power. Allen and Barbara Pease mention benefits of hugs (especially in cuddling infants and children) in their book, Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. I have read a real story elsewhere of an infant dying in an incubator. As soon as the baby was placed alongside its twin such that their bodies touched one another, the dying infant started to miraculously recover!
Paul and the writer of Peter often pen in their letters to “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Peter 5:14).
- What do you think the writers were trying to describe by the phrase “holy kiss”? How would you characterise this phrase?
The KJV translates this as “a kiss of charity”. The term charity is derived from the Greek agape which is defined as ‘love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically a love feast ;- (feast of) charity.
- Now how would you characterise this phrase?
- What is YOUR greeting like? Does it reflect a feast of charity / love?
Many suffer in silence. Even if they muster strength to reach out for a sympathetic ear or ‘a broad shoulder’ to cry on, their need is often rejected as most are busy running the rat race of life. What is achieved (from the rat race) that can be preserved throughout eternity?
There are examples after examples of Jesus healing people through touching them – the leper from leprosy (Matthew 8:3), Peter’s mother-in-law from fever (Matthew 8:15), blind men (Matthew 9:29), the deaf man who could hardly talk (Mark 7:31), the servant’s ear which was cut off (Matthew 22:51)…. the list goes on. In fact, healing also took place when even the edge of His cloak was touched (Matthew 9:20, 14:36) or by Jesus touching the coffin of a young man (Luke 7:14).
However this touch of healing didn’t stop with Jesus. He declared, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). This promise is seen fulfilled even in Paul’s life – “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them (Acts 19:11,12).
In addition to healing, “touch” sometimes plays a part (not necessarily though) in believers receiving the Holy Spirit. “Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17). As seen from the examples above, touch (that reflects God’s holiness of course) can facilitate physical, emotional or spiritual healing! A kiss of charity alone may go a long way!
Remember those who have faith in Jesus will do even greater things
than what He was doing while on earth!