Friday, December 29, 2006

Spiritual Touch

More on touch... I begin with a question: can we experience spiritual touch that is positive, life giving AND recipocal?

Touch can be positive or negative. It can produce life or death. Touch can be a one way activity or it can be reciprocal. For example; intimacy between a husband and wife can be extremely positive, life producing and reciprocal while sexual abuse is an extremely negative, life draining and selfish form of touch.

Because we are tripartite beings consisting of body, soul and spirit we can touch one another physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve received prayer that touched my spirit, filled my soul with joy and caused my body to fall to the ground. I’ve watched movies that have stirred my emotions and inspired my spirit while bringing tears to my eyes.

If we can touch physically or emotionally and have it be reciprocal can we touch spiritually and have it be reciprocal as well? Most of my spiritual interactions have been of the one way variety. I pray for you and you get touched or you pray for me and I get touched. However, I wonder, is it possible to touch one another in the spirit and have it be positive, healthy, life giving, holy and reciprocal? If the answer is yes, could it mean that there is available to us an - as of yet - unexplored depth of relationship that God intended us to experience and enjoy? I find myself excited at just the possibilities, I'm eager to experiment and explore.

In the past Nadine and I have touched one another in the spirit from across a crowded room or even across the country. About a year ago, while on a ministry trip, Nadine and I were chatting online, I had terrible cell phone reception and this was the only way we could connect. At one point in our chat I could feel her presence in the room with me. I could almost smell her scent; it was a powerfully intimate and tender moment. What made it all the more exciting was that she could feel it too! Somehow we were able to touch in a way that transcended the natural realm. It was pure, it was extremely live giving and it was good. Is this but a sample, a token of what can be? Oh God, I hope so.

Could reciprocal spiritual touch be in part what Jesus prayed for in John 17?

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

And what he commanded us to do in John 13?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Makes me wonder at the possibilities…

Heavenly Father, please remove from your church the fear of touch and replace it with the adventurous spirit of an explorer. Make us one as you and Jesus are one. Empower us to love just as Jesus loved us. Let us experience the Fullness of the Freedom you won for us. May we experience that freedom in our relationship with you and in our relationships with one another. Take us higher, take us further, take us deeper, amen.

© Tom Zawacki 2006

Art Credit: “The Touch” by David Costello

1 comment:

  1. Rochelle10:21 PM

    LOVE this blog post... deep.