“You have the hands,” said a grandfather to his grandson. The grandfather, though from a religiously conservative background, had in his own quiet way, practiced laying on of hands for as far back as he could remember. Now, as the old man approached the evening of life, the young man before him needed to know that God would use the boy’s hands for regeneration, for curing.
For thirty years, the grandson kept in the back of his mind the words of his grandfather. He wasn’t holy like his grandfather, rarely prayed and led a self-centered and materialistic life. But, now in his 50’s the man began to face his own mortality and his need for healing of his body, mind and spirit. He began to wonder about the gift he thought he might have. He had often prayed for people as he touched them, but quietly, to himself. It came naturally to him.
This awakening in his soul at mid-life is like a dawning of what was promised in his youth. These days he is praying more often and meditating, too. He finds himself with warm hands ready to touch cold shoulders and painful necks. He begins to take on himself the sufferings of others. As they are healed, he experiences their pain. This sense of another’s pain accompanies the gift of healing.
Maybe, I should use the gift of touch as a healing moment. Maybe, we all have this gift but it is powerless until we are willing to sense other people’s pain and take it on along with our own.