She may be unnamed in the Bible, but one woman knew the importance of touch better than anyone. She had a terrible health-problem and had been bleeding for twelve years. Mark is the gospel-writer who goes into most detail about her situation (Mark 5:24-34). Having suffered under several doctors, she was getting worse rather than better. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd. Ignoring the risk of humiliation and the fear that could have plagued her, she reached out to touch Jesus because she thought: “If I can just touch His clothes, I will be healed”.
In this woman’s case, touch brought her physical healing, but it can also heal the emotions. I think of my friend Carol. At times when I can’t articulate how I’m feeling, a hug from Carol seems to spread not only her love, but God’s peace and love too. Not everyone is comfortable with physical touch and not every culture welcomes it, but for me, it goes very deep. When given by a friend or family-member, it reassures me I’m accepted and loved.