“Who touched me?” and “Whom have I touched?” or perhaps, more importantly…“How have I been touched and how will I touch others?”
It is interesting how the air can suddenly be sucked out of a room by the action or reaction of an individual. The way it can be quickly squashed. Like the domino effect. The momentum from the actions of one carries on to the second, causing it to also fall, which carries on to the next, and so on, down the line, until none are left standing. It is like a wave of destruction.
Imagine what it might be like, if we could actually see and hear both the rising and the quelling of the spirit within others in response to our words and deeds. Would my path have more dominoes that were standing or more dominoes that were knocked down? What are the things that cause me to knock down, rather than to build up? Or to become self-centered as opposed to Spirit-centered?
I was at a gathering, working with others, and as we worked, there was a spirit in the room. We were building something. There seemed to be a spirit rising within each of us as we worked together. I felt a sense of peace, unity and enthusiasm.
It hadn’t started out that way. In fact, I remember wondering, toward the beginning of our time together, “Was this task even possible? Could it really work?” However, as time unfolded, I started to feel a sense of excitement as we worked together. There seemed to be momentum and a positive energy to the group, and I could envision the task at hand not only being possible, but also working for the greater good of all who might be touched by it.
Then, toward the end, the first domino tipped, or rather, it exploded sending shock waves all around, and, even though it did not completely wipe out all that happened before it, in a single second, it certainly changed the spirit in the room. Squashed it! At least that is how it felt to me.
How many times have we all, either witnessed or committed an action or reaction steeped in “How I have been touched” as opposed to one that is cognizant of myself and “how am I about to touch others”?
I would dare to say that the times of action or reaction centered solely on oneself do very little, if anything at all, in a positive, life-giving direction. Whereas the ones that take into account oneself and others (anyone else around) are more than likely ones that acknowledge the situation for what it is without knocking any dominoes down. The latter are times of action or reaction that build up; not tear down. They help us to make the best of the situation, to maintain a spirit of peace, unity and enthusiasm, and to carry on with the hope and trust that things will work out. They always do! My faith, our faith, tells us, things work out for the good of those who love God.
What is it that takes me away from that promise? What do I, with the help of God, need to do about it so that my touch is in, and of, the Spirit?
There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
— Mark 5:25-34