“His hands on them, and blessed them.”
Touch, in the Greek, literally means, “To fasten to, lay hold of, cling to, handle, kindle a fire, to light.” Every person that Jesus ever touched was healed. And, every person that ever touched Him, experienced healing as well. There were times that Jesus simply “spoke the word” and they were healed, but more often than not we find Him wanting to actually go to the place of the sick or deceased and touch them – up close. For when He laid His hands on people, a fire was kindled, healing was released and the power of Light was demonstrated on earth.
Consider some of the following truths pointed out by various medical experts.
For one thing, over one third of our five million touch receptors are centered in our hands![i] Our hands are so sensitive that some blind people are being taught to read without Braille, by seeing through their fingertips! At Princeton University’s Cutaneous Communication Laboratory, “vibratese” is an experimental procedure where blind people are able to read a printed page by translating the words into vibrations on their fingertips.[ii]
Interestingly enough, the act of laying on hands has become the focus of a great deal of modern-day interest and research. Dr. Dolores Krieger, professor of nursing at New York University, has made numerous studies on the effects of laying on of hands. What was found is that both the toucher and the one being touched receive a physiological benefit.[iii]
Inside our bodies is hemoglobin, the pigment of the red blood cells, which carries oxygen to the tissues. Repeatedly, Dr. Krieger has found that hemoglobin levels in both people’s bloodstreams go up during the act of the laying on of hands. As hemoglobin levels are invigorated, body tissues receive more oxygen. This increase of oxygen energizes a person and can even aid in the regenerative process if he or she is ill.
Hugs and kisses were also a part of the meaningful touching pictured in Scriptures. How would you like to lower your husband or wife’s blood pressure? Protect your grade-school child from being involved in an immoral relationship later in life? Even add up to two years to your own life? (Almost sounds like an insurance commercial, doesn’t it?) Actually, these are all findings in recent studies on the incredible power to bless found in meaningful touching.[iv]
Spend some time in prayer & journaling about this idea of touch and holy intimacy with other people.
Action: Go hug your spouse, child, parent, dog or the person next to you at work.
[i] Harvey Richard Schiffman, Sensation and Perceptions: An Integrated Approach, New York: John Wiley &Sons, 1982, 107.
[ii] Frank A. Geldard, “Body English,” Psychology Today, December 1968, 44.
[iii] Deloros Krieger, “Therapeutic Touch: The Imprimatur of Nursing,” American Journal of Nursing, May 1975, 784.
[iv] Gary Smalley & John Trent, The Blessing, New York: Pocket Books, 1986, 44-45.