Matthew 8:1-3, "When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 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, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed."
Touch then healing. Touch first. Jesus holding this touch for a time in silence. Touch that occurs while the man is still unclean. The sequence isn't healing followed by touch. That sequence would signal something completely different, that I won't touch you until you are acceptable and "cleaned up." So as I imagine Jesus holding this touch I can sense that something deep inside the man is being healed irrespective of his leprosy. Something deep, emotional and human is being reached and healed prior to the physical healing. The true healing, as I see it, comes with the primacy of the touch. Touch heals the social dislocation and social alienation associated with leprosy, prostitution, addiction which by far are the most painful and dehumanizing symptoms and stigmas of disease and social behavior.
In short, touch heals.
It is the most primal act of love at our disposal.
"Ask God to give thee skill
In comfort' s art;
That you may consecrated be
And set apart
Into a life of sympathy.
For heavy is the weight of ill
In every heart;
And comforters are needed much
Of Christlike touch."
A. E. HAMILTON.
But madly now I wound myself alone,
Dashing my injured foot against the stone:
So to the wide arena, wild with pain,
The vanquish’d gladiator hastes again;
So the poor shatter’d bark the tempest braves,
Launching once more into the swelling waves.