«And behold a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘l am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed»(Matthew 8:2, 3)
Months after my (J) mother’s death, during a visit to my sister’s house, I noticed my teenage nephew staring at my hands. I asked him why and he answered:
«Your hands look like grandma’s.
«I never thought my hands resembled my mother’s hands. Thinking about it, I understood that, indeed, my nephew was right. His assessment made me think of how our hands, just like our face, showed our identity. It also made me remember that those were the hands that fed me and lifted me up when I fell while taking my first steps. They were the hands that hugged me, comforted me and prayed for me. I asked myself if my hands were devoted to doing good and serving others, just like my mother’s were.
The Scriptures mention the hands of Jesus. The Lord put out His hand and touched a leper or a blind man. He placed them on the children. He used them to hold Peter when he was sinking in the Sea of Galilee. He used them to wash His disciples’ feet. We do not know what these hands looked like, but they must have been strong with calloused skin due to his occupation as carpenter and builder. And at the same time, they were filled with love, sensitivity, empathy, and healing powers, because at the touch of these hands, many terminally ill individuals were completely healed.
We can also use our hands to spread love, affection and emotions to our loved ones. Parents express love and tenderness toward their children through physical contact and the children reciprocate. They are needed to give and to get emotional support. A few years ago, when the Ebola virus epidemic broke, the health authorities imposed a severe protocol on the health-care staff that took care of possible infected patients. Among the numerous restrictions, they prohibited them from giving affectionate touches, hugs, and handshakes. As a result, many talked about how frustrating and heart-wrenching it was for them to witness so many tragic scenes without being able to have any physical contact.
Jesus was never afraid to touch any sick person, including the lepers. No matter how serious your physical, mental or moral situation is, the Lord is willing to place His healing hand upon you, to comfort and to guide you. Allow Him today to reach you with His loving hands.