The Healing Touch, Henry Nouwen


Touch, yes, touch, speaks the wordless words of love. We receive so much touch when we are babies and so little when we are adults. Still, in friendship touch often gives more life than words. A friend’s hand stroking our back, a friend’s arms resting on our shoulder, a friend’s fingers wiping our tears away, a friend’s lips kissing our forehead — these are true consolation. These moments of touch are truly sacred. They restore, they reconcile, they reassure, they forgive, they heal.

Everyone who touched Jesus and everyone whom Jesus touched were healed. God’s love and power went out from him (see Luke 6:19). When a friend touches us with free, nonpossessive love, it is God’s incarnate love that touches us and God’s power that heals us.

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