FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF mankind, there was the needfulness of touch. Formed of dust by the hand of his Creator, man was abundantly touched with greatest affection. As Apostle Tinsman so aptly expressed, “We have the fingerprints of God all over us.” And now we, as His masterpiece of creation, are perfectly equipped to touch others with a hand “so unique and so wonderful in its construction and function that it alone marks man as apart and distinct from every other creature…With our clasped hands we express love, faith, and friendship…With the open hand we welcome friends and loved ones; the caressing hand expresses deep emotion and attraction…and with folded hands we express our devotion and reverence to our God.”1
Consider a contrasting scene: a society robbed of the human touch, operated by robotic, digital, and virtual means. Dr. Vernon Coleman’s description sounds somewhat like this: Large stores will not require cashiers nor employees to stack shelves–automatic tills and robots will do those jobs. Delivery men and taxi drivers will not be needed – “self-driving vehicles,” and “robot carts and drones” will replace personnel. The “old-fashioned” farmer will not be called for–food factories run by robots, and computers will fill the call. Schools will lock their doors–online teaching will be the mode. Robots will perform vital functions in hospitals, computers in prisons. What else will robots and computers overtake? Police, most civil servants, mail carriers, architects, lawyers, and judges. 2
Consider also today’s experimentation with remote touch. Cynthia Gorney, a contributing writer of National Geographic invites us to envision “one person in Los Angeles, one person in Cleveland. Across 2000 miles…they’re trying to shake hands.” Such scientific opportunities may seem intriguing (one can actually purchase “virtual reality gloves” and “virtual reality goggles” which can be “wired to make your actual fingers and palms feel something like contact as your virtual hands touch virtual things”). Still, I declare that a remote touch is unable to match the unduplicatable effect of the touch of a human hand. Indeed, the author herself agrees that, “Even the simplest touch to skin sets off neural messaging so complex that scientists are only beginning to mimic it through engineering.”3 Ah, it is but mimicry and imitation, not real.
The same article states that the first thing we felt in the womb was the sense of touch. For a newborn, the right kind of touch can actually be life-preserving. It is interesting to note from Harry Harlow’s experiment that baby monkeys (macaques) revealed their need of a soft touch to be greater than the need of steady feeding. 4
So remarkably beneficial is the human touch for our wellness, that by it, studies suggest, we may experience lower stress and anxiety levels, a decrease in depression, reduced blood pressure, and a stronger immunity. Through touch, the hormone oxytocin is released, which produces feelings of bonding, gratefulness, generosity, and trust. It is no wonder that the handshake is of significance when greeting someone new!
By the way, cell phone messages cannot produce these same feelings. Oxytocin is not secreted digitally! How vital it is then to reinforce emotional attachments with a loving touch. 5 According to Virginia Satir, “we need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”5
Come, my brothers and sisters of humanity. For too long, we have been out of touch. The last three years, especially, have produced a people pining for lack of a touch, suffering under an evil, dehumanizing agenda instigated by the kings of the earth and their collaborators. It is time to remove our latex gloves, literally and figuratively, and stretch forth our hands towards one another–friend or stranger, young or old, happy or sad, rich or poor, no matter their culture, color, or language. Jesus, our ultimate example, walked among the people, stretched out His hands to embrace the children and blessed them by the laying on of His hands (Mark 10:16). Over and over, with the most life-changing results, He put forth His hand to touch the sick and needy. Equally beautiful it was, when the infirm reached forth toward HIM, to touch HIS garment, “and as many as touched Him were made whole” (Mark 6:56).
Is there no hope of receiving such a touch today? Must humanity, so greatly impoverished by the present circumstances of this cruel world, despair? The answer is a beautiful one: “Peace be unto you,” said the resurrected Jesus as He showed His apostles His hands: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:20-21). God, still today, is “manifest in the flesh” through His church, His people, specifically His end-time apostles (1 Tim. 3:16). Still today, He has hands, and through these blessed human hands flows an all-sufficient supply of healing, comfort, courage, and inspiration. This is the touch humanity needs most.
- “The Human Hand” from The Wonders of Creation by Alfred M. Rehwinkel
- “A third of all jobs will disappear by 2030…” Dec. 2, 2022. vernoncoleman.org
- “The Power of Touch” by Cynthia Gorney. National Geographic 06.2022