Touching the Story

Frederick Buechner writes,

I hear your words.  I see your face.  I smell the rain in your hair, the coffee on your breath.  I am inside me experiencing you as you are inside you experiencing me, but the you and the I themselves, those two insiders, don’t entirely meet until something else happens.

We shake hands perhaps.  We pat each other on the back.  At parting or greeting, we may even go so far as to give each other a hug.  And now it has happened.  We discover each other to be three-dimensional, solid creatures of reality as well as dimensionless, airy creations of it.  We have an outside of flesh and bone as well as an inside where we live and move and have our being.

Through simply touching more directly than in any other way, we can transmit to each other something of the power of the life we have inside us.  It is no wonder that the laying on of hands has always been a traditional part of healing or that when Jesus was around, “All the crowd sought to touch him” (Luke 6:19).  It is no wonder that just the touch of another human being at a dark time can be enough to save the day.

– from Whistling in the Dark



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