With buzzwords and acronyms like hyperstitial, matrix management, spyware, competitive analysis, FAQs, empowerment and stem cell research, life in the 21st century has become what I term ‘high tech, low touch’.
There is no denying that modern technology, medicine and science have their positive aspects, but I sometimes find myself wondering whether in our eagerness to accept these advances, we are forgetting the importance of the personal touch.
Too often life races by, leaving people feeling bewildered, stressed and alone. It is at this point that the church can really come into its own, through ‘touch ministry’. What do I mean by this? I mean simple things like making a phone call, sharing a laugh over a cappuccino, giving a hug or praying for someone. It’s very easy, as we are propelled through our days, to underestimate the importance of the personal touch.
You don’t have to look very far in your workplace, your church – maybe even in your own family – to find someone who needs the reassurance of the personal touch. Through over 50 years ministry, I have seen so many times the balance and peace that can be restored to a person through a mere squeeze on the shoulder or five minutes of unabridged time.
One of my favourite scriptures when conducting Coping with Grief and Crisis seminars is found in Ezekiel 3:15 where it says, ‘I sat where they sat’. This is such a profound illustration of empathy. It is a place where words are unnecessary, but where mere presence can comfort, console and uplift.
Jesus understood the power of the personal touch and, in the midst of a demanding multitude, is often seen stopping to make that one-on-one connection with someone. Consider the woman with the issue of blood or Zaccheus or Mary Magdalene. These are just three lives that were dramatically changed because the Master took just a few moments to minister individually.
Despite its challenges, I am all for progress and do not believe we should attempt to stop it or ignore it – to do so would be an act of futility. But I am equally convinced that at the very centre of every human being is a desire for the personal touch.
Let me encourage you today, as you no doubt face a multitude of tasks and responsibilities, to make a difference in someone’s life through the personal touch.
Rev Kindah Greening
Founder, Chairman Emeritus and Ambassador for King's Christian College
Gold Coast, Australia
August 15, 2017