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Touching in Church

What is all this touching in church? It used to be a person could come to church and sit in the pew and not be bothered by all this friendliness and certainly not by touching. I used to come to church and leave untouched. Now I have to be nervous about what is expected of me. I have to worry about responding to the person sitting next to me. Oh, I wish it could be the way it used to be; I could just ask the person next to me, "How are you?" And the person could answer, "Oh, just fine." And we would both go home . . . strangers who have known each other for 20 years. But now the minister asks us to look at each other. I am worried about that hurt look I saw in that woman’s eyes. Now I am upset because the lady next to me cried and then apologized and said it was because I was so kind and that she needed a friend right now. Now I have to get involved. Now I have to suffer when this community suffers. Now I have to be more than a person coming to observe a service. That man last week told me I had never known how much I had touched his life. All I did was smile and tell him I understood what it was to be lonely. Lord, I am not big enough to touch and be touched. The stretching scares me. What if I disappoint somebody? What if I am too pushy? What if I cling too much? What if somebody ignores me? O Lord, be here beside me. You touch me, Lord, so that I can touch and be touched. So that I can care and be cared for. So that I can share my life with all those others that belong to you. All this touching in church, Lord, it is changing me!

(from Pulipit Helps)


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