The Grateful Series: Touching the Heart

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(My hug-friendly family exploring Boston – Summer of 2018)

Luke 8: 42-45…As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelves years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

This is a great story in Luke’s Gospel. The essential human instinct of reaching out in faith for help. Or love. Or Sympathy. Compassion. In this case, reaching out in faith to be healed. Jesus knew someone had touched him for that reason, because he felt the power go out of him when she touched his cloak. She trembled at his feet explaining why she had done what she did, and how she had been instantly healed. Jesus replied, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

We take our sense of touch completely for granted. Many people are without sight or hearing, but nearly everyone alive has the ability to feel…to touch. Even as I type on this MacBook I’m not quite used to working on, my fingertips feel the slight sting as my hands try to keep up with my brain. We spend all day, everyday, processing the sense of touch. Thank you, God, for this miracle you’ve provided.

In Part 5 of this Gratitude Series, here are 5 things that touch my heart, to which I give great thanks to the Lord.

1. Holding Hands with My Daughters. They are 21 (nearly) and 17 now, so it doesn’t happen often these days. But the mental image in my mind of raising them will always be strolling along (anywhere we went) holding their hands. There is magic to that between a parent and child when they hold hands. It doesn’t just provide sense of security and love to the child. The magic flows back into the parent as well. By far, my favorite feeling of touch as a Dad has been holding their hands. The feeling is stored deep in my heart.

2. There are a great many things between a husband and wife that aren’t to be shared in a public forum. Most cherished instances of touch fall into that category. Suffice it to say, they are there with us, too, and they shall go without saying. But the sweetest can certainly be put on record. The feeling of my wife stroking my hair as we sit on the couch watching whatever we may be viewing. I adore that feeling.

3. A sincere and real hug. Without question, I’m a hugging type person. If I like you, it doesn’t matter what gender you are or who you may be, eventually, and probably often, you’ll be hugged by me. There exist several different types of hugs, and it’s a fun thing to Google sometime if you’re interested. But the best are the kind that come with a warm smile and enthusiastic embrace. One of the best huggers I’ve ever met served with me on a praise team for many years. That woman gives great hugs. Nothing weird about it, and no extra implications. She just hugs people for real. That’s a great feeling. My family has always been a group of huggers (as shown above). It means a great deal more than most people ever realize…to be hugged.

4. The sensation of water touching your skin. Getting into a warm shower. A hot tub. Pool. Slipping into a mineral bath in a luxurious spa. Wading into the ocean. There is a sense of home built into our DNA when we enter water (totally made that up but it seems right), and it’s triggered by our sense of touch as the water hits our skin.

5. My drumsticks. They’ve always felt perfectly natural in my hands. As if they were merely an extension of my fingers that my brain instantly controlled. They make reality of the rhythm playing in my mind. I like the smoothness of the wood. The exactness of the weight. I’m not one of those drummers that can do entertaining circus tricks with their drumsticks. That’s not me. I know that it’s showmanship and people enjoy it, but I find it disrespectful to the art. Like a monkey doing tricks at a zoo. My desire is to create music that moves another soul in all the right ways. Drumsticks? Are the tools that make that happen.

Gary Abernathy

 

 

 

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