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Hug Therapy Part 2

By Pastor Royston Smith

"I feel the healing hands of God touch my heart and kiss my soul"

Harley King

After being apart for what seems like an eternity, there’s nothing like a warm embrace to say, “I’m back and I missed you terribly.” A hug is also shared as a keepsake just before a loved one leaves. Rightly used, a touch can show that one cares, and is willing to be vulnerable to another. There are many lonely and disconnected people who are starved of a physical touch. Yet such a simple and free act could have a positive result; making them feel accepted, valued and wanted. Reaching out and touching someone with a healing touch should come naturally to us.

Everyone was trying to touch Jesus, because power was going out from him and healing them all".

Luke 6:19

Though our touch is nothing like that of Jesus, there is so much evidence that the warmth we share when we touch someone, brings emotional relief that in turn has positive effects on other facets of their lives. A recent article on health spoke of the importance of touch in human development. If children are starved of physical contact during the formative years, there is a higher risk of behavioural, emotional and social problems as they grow. The same is true if they are exposed to or are recipients of inappropriate physical contact. Unfortunately, for every good thing God creates, the devil has a counterfeit.  

Restorative Touch in the Bible

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In Acts 19, the Apostle Paul, whilst in Ephesus used the power of touch to heal the sick and to banish evil spirits. Also, in Acts 28: 8 (NLT), “as it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him.” The combination of touch and prayer produced healing in his body.  

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For 12 years, she suffered, bore the emotional and psychological baggage of being unclean and untouchable. Scorned and isolated, she was desperate. Jesus was in the neighbourhood, and to her, that meant hope. It took all the ‘strength’ she had to ignore their hateful gazes, harsh remarks and a few pitying eyes, she only needed a touch; even His clothing would do. She brushed her hand against the tassel of His garment and at once she felt the change in her body. The blood stopped. A tingling sensation of warmth flowed through her body. Jesus insisted, Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me” Luke 8:46. She was no longer untouchable but restored, both physically and spiritually. Her faith had made her whole. There is healing power in Jesus’ touch that is beyond our understanding.

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The story of the prodigal son speaks volumes about the touch of acceptance – his errors were no longer an issue. His past was exactly that, his past. His father’s embrace meant everything to him. In that one touch, compassion and mercy took centre stage. There is no substitute for the restorative touch, see (Luke 15: 11 –32).   

In Closing

Let us reach out and demonstrate the power of healing given through a touch. If you’re feeling lonely, know that God is reaching out his hands to touch, comfort and heal. There are so many for whom relief is desperately needed. We can be His hands today. 

Let us Pray
Let us Pray

Father God, in your wisdom, you created us as social beings. Help us to partner with you as you wrap your arms around humanity, in the precious name of Jesus, amen.  

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