Wednesday, January 27, 2010

30 Days of Touching

Day 20: Touchy-Feely

I was driving to Ft. Wayne today to meet with a client when the Spirit prompted me to pray and open myself to the world of touch. Almost immediately, the expression “touchy-feely” came to mind. I mused about the expression; tried to wrap my mind around what we mean when we say something is touchy-feely.

Touchy-feely typically refers to something that is sappy, emotional and sentimental. Is that what it means to you? I wondered if it also described the two directions of affection—I touch you, I feel you touch me. That reminded me of my relationship with God. I even had the image of Da Vinci’s Hand of God painting—the one where God’s hand reaches down from heaven and a human hand reaches back. Now the expression spoke in a new way for me.

Touchy-feely began to describe to me the reciprocity of affection between God and humankind. James 4:8 comes to mind: “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” That little equation has proven true for me. A relationship with God involves touching God—reaching out, seeking after him, “feeling our way to him” (as Paul says in Acts 17: 27). Likewise, it involves God touching us, seeking after us and pursuing us with his love and presence. (Luke 15:3-7)

So, now when you hear or use the expression “touchy-feely,” you might think of it differently. A bit like the Dr. Seuss character, a Push-me-pull-you, touchy-feely is a beautiful picture of how we engage with God and God engages with us.

A question for spiritual direction: Which are you more comfortable and familiar with—touching God or being touched by him?


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