My last two years of high school were spent in Zambia during the war. There are many stories to tell but I have only one right now.
The farm next to ours, about a mile away, was owned by British friends. Because we were white, we were suspected of being spies by the terrorists. Well, they called themselves freedom fighters but to those upon whom their power was unleashed, they were known as terrorists. ( In hindsight, fear and hatred brought out the worst of both sides.)
One day, after the Rhodesian planes flew over and bombed the terrorist camp next to our farm, the terrorist invaded the farm next to us. They raped the women and terrorized the men. One man was tied up by his feet with wire and hung upside down from a tree while they proceeded to slice his feet like bacon.
Five of my friends were considered too old, too young, too fat and too ill to mess with and were locked in a room. As they heard the screams outside, they pleaded with God for protection and release. They also prayed for us; that someone would warn us to leave before the men arrived at our door.
As these warriors prayed they all felt the touch of God. One felt someone hold their hand. One felt a warm blanket wrapped around their shivering body, while another felt an arm around their shoulders. After a time of agonizing in prayer, they looked up to find no one there holding their hand, no arm and no blanket.
They knew without a doubt it was the touch of Christ, bringing comfort, hope and healing.
In the bible we read that most of the times Jesus healed, he also touched. There was power in the touch of Christ. There are articles and books written, studies conducted, and the result is always the same. There is also power in human touch.
We may not experience the physical touch of Jesus but my friends did that day. And not only did Jesus touch them, but he answered their prayers. One of their servants managed to escape; sprinting with all the speed he could muster, to warn us of the impending danger. Within teb minutes we were gone, only to discover they came looking for us three times that evening.
Yes, Jesus still touches and heals. He answers prayer. He holds our hands, gives us hugs, and wraps us in the warm blanket of comfort and protection.
I know a pastor who loved to give hugs. One day, while on the streets, he hugged a homeless woman. She began to cry, managing to say, “No one has touched me in two years”. I know a young woman who went to work on the streets of Calcutta. She and her team walked the streets, taking only the homeless with hours to live. They gave them a clean bed and held their hand while they breathed their last breath. I know a woman who stopped on the scene of freeway accident and held the hand of a bleeding man, hanging upside down in the over turned car, until the firemen arrived.
Sometimes Jesus touches. Sometimes he touches through us. And that may be the only touch of Jesus some may ever experience.