Touch and Feel

My boys have discovered this new game. I call it pummels, and I’m reasonably sure it’s going to be a part of raising young boys for quite a few years. Here’s the game: I, the large lumbering father figure, lay down upon the ground. The boys, tossing aside whatever they were previously working on, crawl at breakneck speed in my direction. Upon arriving at their lifeless father on the floor, they rise up on their knees and begin pounding on me with their bare fists, giggling and shrieking with joy.

Is it weird that I love it so much?

I don’t think this is a game of violence so much as it is a game of touch. The boys, even in their very young age, are interesting in having real, physical contact with me. And if I’m willing to come down and meet them on their own turf, then all the better.

God clearly understands that. When it came time to save the human race, God decided it was best to come down in terms we could understand, to take on an actual body. Even after the resurrection when some are having a hard time believing everything that’s taking place, Jesus says “Go ahead, touch. Feel. See that I am back.” There’s something revealing about touch.

But the question that remains for us is to figure out how we can best experience God through touch today. Jesus is risen and reigning, and our presence with God comes to us through the Holy Spirit. How is this going to work?

I love God’s exclamation to Moses in Exodus 3. Moses sees a burning bush, and decides this is worth a second glance. As Moses gets closer, God demands that he remove his sandals, because this ground is holy. Why would you do that? I mean there is a certain politeness to it, we often take our shoes off when we’re visiting a new house. But I think there was something more. I think God wanted Moses to feel the location he was in. I think God asked Moses to do this to make an impact.

From time to time, I walk the prayer labyrinth here at Westminster. Maybe it’s this passage in Exodus that inspires this, but I have always walked that maze barefoot. Something about feeling the brick under my feet has a profound effect on me. When I walk through the woods, there’s nothing better than picking up a rock and skipping it across a pond or a creek. When there’s snow, it is almost a requirement that there are snow angels. Maybe we can’t actually touch God, but we can certainly touch and feel God’s fingerprints all over this beautiful world.

And for what it’s worth, I frequently feel God’s presence when my boys are hammering away on me each and every night. Maybe there’s something to that as well.

blog comments powered by Disqus