In Ecuador this week, the Compassion Bloggers and I have been greeted as family in a foreign land. The people we’ve met, who are strangers to us as we are to them, are united with us through the love of Christ.
But that doesn’t make initial introductions any easier.
There’s something so unassuming about children. Each of us has had a child or two approach and immediately offer their hand. It’s an invitation to join them – to join them in dancing on stage in front of an audience (which has happened multiple times), to come into their house, to sit beside them so they can snuggle in, to pray together.
It’s one thing for a child to offer us a hand. It’s a completely different thing to take it. I think God hardwired our bodies to be changed when our hands touch. We’re no longer strangers when we hold hands. We’re bonded together. Even if it’s only for a moment.
Hand-in-hand, we join together as friends, dancers and neighbors.
The power of touch is not lost in Jesus’ ministry. He touched people who were contagious with all sorts of diseases. And at the power of His touch, people were healed. While I believe Jesus could have healed people without touching them, I think those who were healed connected with Jesus and His body in a way they wouldn’t have had he not extended His hand.
Even as Jesus moved on, they had been changed by the power of His touch. I think they would have gone the rest of their lives with the sensory memory of Jesus’ touch burned into their minds. And they might have compared every other touch the rest of their lives to His.
When we leave Ecuador at the end of the week, holding these children’s hands won’t be quickly forgotten. We’ll have let go with our hands but we will still cling to them with our hearts.
As you scroll through these pictures from around the world, don’t lose the fact that at one time, these two hands had never met. Moments before, they were apart but something pulled them together. Now, their hands have released and moved on to something else.
These are powerful moments caught on film when two people were connected in a way that we are designed to connect.