Jo Ann Alo

writer – rhymer – bible junky

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Looking at this picture can you feel his hands? They’re warm, right? Soft? Maybe a lil clammy? But can you see what it means? I want to see through touch. Move beyond what it appears to be and see if I can spot its meaning.

Touch goes deeper than skin. Whether good touch or bad…it leaves its prints. Touch penetrates our mind and isn’t soon (if ever) forgotten.

I don’t travel well. Motion sickness. Need I say more? Most flights my husband sits with my head in his hands. When my first grandson was born his parents decided to move him to Kigali, Rwanda. I made no promises to visit. I promised myself I wouldn’t. For his first 5 months of life I drove to the north side of Chicago. Kissing, snuggling, singing, rocking, changing diapers ~ anything I could do, I did, to get my fill of this kid before he left. Seven months later I had a boarding pass in my hand. 7, 711 miles. Seventeen hours ~ coach. Curled my body up in airport chairs for something like 9 hours.

Off the plane, I can see him across the ropes, in his mother’s arms. Thunder rolls up in my chest as I remember the feeling ~ the touch of his skin.

There was no exchanging of touch in my family growing up. None. We didn’t sit on laps, or hold hands. Hugging was as comfortable as farting out loud in public. Ya just didn’t do it. When I started dating my husband and met his family…all those people did was hug. I love you’s were handed out like cheap cigars. Those were each family’s traditions past down the tree.

I want to plant a new tree. Where touch is welcome but not mandatory. Can we practice touch? Come together when you want closeness or need comfort, and let’s explore its deeper meaning. I want to know what we were missing. Searching for new insight, I studied this picture.

Then I saw it! Trust!

Paul put both hands inside mine because he trusts me.

Touch was a faculty Jesus used to heal people. If Jesus touched you, you received your sight, mind, or legs. His touch could cleanse your skin ~ even start your heart. At his hands everyone walked away healthy, but not everyone left changed. All were ready to save their skin, but few were willing to put their trust in his hands.

Anyone can touch another ~ but trusting someone is a whole other feeling.

I think about Jesus heading out to touch our brokenness. How far he was willing to walk with our burdens on his back. How long he is willing to wait before we trust him.

When Jesus entered as an infant he came close up. Close enough to touch. First-born of the Spirit ~ he’s able to get closer. Near enough to trust.

With that picture in mind ~ I’ll gladly ride out this turbulence trusting my heart in His hands.

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