Tuesday, February 8, 2011

don't touch me.

Have you ever heard of the '5 love languages'? you know, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service, and receiving gifts? well, mine happens to be words of affirmation. I like it when people vocalize their love or whatever ... consequently, when someone whose love language is, say, physical touch, neither of us feel very loved. I was thinking about that the last few days and it kinda made me wonder ... I'm not a touchey person. I don't like to be poked, tapped, or even sometimes hugged. Only at certain times do I like to have arms put around my shoulders or have my hand squeezed. A lot of the people in my family are touchey so the words "Don't touch me" leave my mouth more often then I would like. For someone's whose love language is touch I guess its almost like rejecting their love. Its not intentional, its just that I don't like to be touched very often. I am one of those people who value greatly personal space (you know, I have my bubble, you have your bubble. lets keep it that way). I don't like it when people sit close to me, stand close to me, and above all, don't touch me. Thats just me.

The other day I was thinking about my 'untouchableness' and a song came to mind. Its basically a song that talks about the woman that touched the hem of Jesus garment. One of the things I love about the song is that it brings out the fact that not only did the woman touch Jesus, Jesus touched her too. With His healing power and His forgiveness and His love, this womans life was transformed in a matter of seconds. Think about it ... she had struggled with her problems for many years. Whether she wanted to be touched or not, she was in essence 'untouchable'. No doctor could cure her, he money had not helped her, and she was shunned by society. Maybe she hadn't touched someone or been touched for years. I wonder what she thought when she first heard about the healing power of Jesus ... I wonder what when through her mind when she saw the crowd pressing around Jesus, how hopeless she felt ... I wonder when she made up her mind; was it out of desperation and hope? maybe I won't know all those things until I get to heaven, but I do know that she touched the hem of Jesus' garment. I do know that instantly she was made whole. And I also know that Jesus stopped and asked "Who touched me?" I can see her there trembling and scared. I can feel her hope and joy when Jesus bids her to go in peace because her faith had made her well. 

I wondered if there was more to this touchey business then just physical touch. 

what if ... what if on the inside I'm like that too? what if I resist not just the emotional touch of other people, but the touch of Jesus with my firm reply: Don't touch me. 

now I admit that most of my life I've done my best to keep things that I didn't want to reach me from reaching me, like emotionally. After more then one painful lesson, I've sought to keep people at an arms length except for a select few that have won my trust. Its not just people sitting close to me that I don't like, I don't like for people to get near to me; the me on the inside. I'm afraid that if I do, some way or another they'll hurt me. I've built walls; tall walls, mind you. I wonder how many beautiful people I've kept from my life just from sheer fear that they would hurt me; I wonder ... if I've kept some of Jesus out because of my crazy walls. I thought about that woman ... how she was willing to touch and be touched and I realized that she had something I don't have. She wasn't afraid. She had the courage to touch Jesus even though she might have faced scorn from others ... even if she faced the prospect of being hurt or whatever. Though week and sick, she pressed her way through that crowd to Jesus. Its an open rebuke to people like me; people who really actually like to be touched, but are afraid to be touched. I didn't like that much when I realized most of my problems centered around fear.

so what about you?

I know I'm not the only one out there ... maybe you're kinda afraid of being touched; maybe you have walls; maybe you're afraid of being hurt again. 

here's what I'm gonna do ::
I'm going to try to pull down my stupid walls and crazy 'don't touch me' notions and be [for once] touchable. Don't take my blog the wrong way and think that I literally mean that you just let people touch you anywhere (have some sense please), but I mean letting people into your life and maybe even putting yourself at risk for another hurt. Its hard. Just these past few days I've almost died (it feels like) by trying to pull down my walls. I feel secure and they make me feel invincible to hurt. False, of course, but thats what it feels like. Its like jumping into water you've never been in before. You don't know how deep it is or how warm it is. Sometimes it brings a shock, but you'll never know until you jump, right? 

okay, so lets hold hands and jump ... 

together lets pull down our walls and be touchable ... by both people and Jesus, the most important touch we could ever have. 

a while back I wrote a poem about this woman (partly because ... well, nevermind) 
anyway, check it out (:

For 12 long years I have waited for this healing to come. Before, all I could do was hope and pray. But now my dream has been made a reality. Finally. All the pain and suffering that I used to call mine has vanished from me. I can live again. I can laugh again. I can love again. When before I was marked as "unclean" I can now walk with my fellow human beings and not be shamed by the stamp of my helpless condition riding on my forehead. I can go about without having hate-filled glares darken the air around me. Without those that I have never known whispering as I quickly walk behind them. Without having to shout "Unclean!" to those that dared to come a little closer. I am free. The chains that society put around me have fallen off, never to return to my weary soul. Most could never understand how hopeless you could feel. After all the money was gone, after every doctor had been visited, after every faithful friend had been consulted…still no cure. All I could do was cry out to the One that created me and beg for an answer. " Why?" , is the question that sometimes plagues your thoughts. "Was it some sin that my parents had done, or was it my sin?" But when no reason comes to mind you cannot help but feel that all is lost and that you will be in this miserable condition for the rest of your life. But one frail hope would not die. One tiny seed of faith began to sprout. But then around the plant of faith grows a crop of doubt. How can you be sure that this is not some hoax to get more money out of your empty pocket? How do you know that this is for real and not just some false hope that will come crashing down when reality sets in? But even with the doubts this last hope, this last faith, becomes a strong determination. You must see for yourself. As I pressed through that crowd that I could not fight in my weakness something seemed to be pushing me on. I could not say that for all my effort something would come out of it  but I could try. Imagine the disappointment when you find that you will never reach Him. But one last cry, one last hope, …one last try. Others tried to pull me back and keep me away, still more shrieked with fear at having been so close to someone that was unclean, but as my finger grazed the edge of His hem electric shocks ran through my body. The pain was gone, the ache was gone. Everything that had been associated with this terrible illness had packed up and moved away. As I stood there, my mouth moving but no sound coming out I heard a lovely voice ask a simple question. "Who touched me?" At first fear filled me as I heard His talkative disciple give an explanation that could not be farther from the truth. As He still insisted that someone touched Him I knew what I had to do. Though I was fearful and trembling I came and told Him everything. Then He told me, "Daughter, be of good comfort: Your faith has made you whole; go in peace". Unexplainable  joy that I have never known filled my soul for the first time. As the reality of His words sank in tears that that had always fallen in sadness now fell freely in joy.  There would never be enough "Thank You" to say throughout eternity. For the first time in 12 long years I had peace that passes all understanding. Yes, it was me that had  touched Him. But when you really take a look at this wonderful miracle it was Him that touched me. Yes…He touched me!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

there was no thief ...

have you ever felt that something has been stolen from you? I don't mean physical stuff (pieces of gum don't even count lol) , but like spiritually and emotionally?

more then once I have found myself accusing others when I slipped in my relationship with God. It's so much easier to blame others then to take the responsibility yourself! its quite popular within my age group .... especially when it comes to spiritual stuff. 

I'm sure you've heard it too. Its like someone will bring this or that to our attention but we don't wanna do it. So what do we do? we blame it on the fault of other Christians. 

"Well, such and such watched that movie and they're an Elder in the church".

"Well, such and such listens to that song and thats the pastor's son".

"Well, such and such too the entire youth group to that place and thats the pastor".

so we excuse our selves. And almost more then anything, we actually allow ourselves to believe stuff like that. 

Its crazy.

Its like we neglect our devotions for weeks and suddenly wake up to the fact that we're pretty much living life without Jesus, but we blame it on the fact that the youth pastor isn't relevant enough, or that church is dry, or that we can't understand old English. 

excuses, excuses ....

I called this "there was no thief ... " because sometimes it seems like we think that someone stole Jesus or our spiritual lives from us, you know? we never stop to look at ourselves and examine what we have been doing. Its quite sad actually ... I'm guilty of doing this many times. I wonder where along the way I lost Jesus or who did what to 'steal' Him from me, but its not them its me!

For a time I thought there was a thief among us
I thought I'd track him down, but prior to my pursuit
the smoke had cleared and to my disbelief
there was no thief 'cause it was me that lost You .... 

I think its high time we quit blaming others for our faults and falls. 

If you want to have someone to blame, then I strongly suggest you take a long look in the mirror. Chances are ...

you'll be staring right at the thief.