Look all around you and see what is real
Hear what is true and be sure what you feel
Touch someone near you in love if you can
Give all you have and be part of God’s plan
These are the words to one of my first songs. I look at my songs as not necessarily a part of me. Some of them I scratch my head over. They come through me but they are not me. Like a mother who births a child and, years later, wonders who this person is that came out of her; God had a much bigger hand in who this person came to be than she ever had. It’s a little like that with songs. They have a life of their own.
This particular song became a hit with Young Life groups around the country. On the third line, kids would touch people all around them, and then it became a game where the song leader would shout out the number of how many people you had to touch each time they came upon that line in the chorus. Imagine the bedlam, created in a room of fifty kids when the leader shouted “Twenty-three!” They were falling all over each other, some running around the room, many embracing. It was amazing to see what a little personal contact could do.
Then I found out it wasn’t just a kids’ thing. Adults loved it too. Oh, they were reluctant at first to break out of their private cocoons, but by the last chorus, they were just as animated as the kids. Color came to their faces; smiles broke out; the stiffness went out of their shoulders. Come on, we’re all dying for human contact; we just need someone to give us permission
Touch is so important. It breaks down barriers and overcomes isolation. It violates self-control when it is too protective. To be sure, some have been abused by touch, but in public, in a group of caring individuals, touch can be healing.
Jesus touched lepers who had been declared unclean. He laid his hands over the eyes of the blind. He took the hand of the lame and brought them to their feet. He told us to bandage the wounds of those who had been beaten and robbed. He washed his disciples’ feet. Once, a sick woman merely touched the sleeve of Jesus believing she could be healed, and the power went out of Him and into her. “Who touched me?” He said, with the crowd pressing in on Him.
Think about it. Be conscious of this today. Do this for yourself, and for others: Touch someone near you, in love, if you can. It’s a little thing that will make a big difference.