When our children were small, a young woman came to live in our home. The woman, severely depressed, had made multiple attempts to end her own life. Her arms were covered with scars where she had cut herself. My husband and I offered counsel to our guest during this period, but our children had a more powerful effect on her view of herself than all our professional wisdom.
Our children did not know anything of her background. They didn’t understand depression or bipolarism. All they cared was that she knew how to play games of Candyland and Crazy Eights. They snuggled in her lap. They welcomed her at the door with hugs. They accepted her as she was. With no ulterior motive, they offered our guest a healing touch. Slowly she grasped a new perspective: If these small children accepted her as a friend, perhaps she too could accept herself in the same way.
In Luke 4:40 we read that Jesus touched all of those he healed with his own hands. Luke, a doctor himself, makes a point of saying Jesus touched “every one of them.” Later he made a paste of mud and smeared it on the eyes of a blind man. He stretched out his hand and touched a leper’s sores. They didn’t have to measure up to societal standards before he touched them. He accepted each one where he or she was regardless of their infirmities. He accepts us too.
Now we can do the same for others. Two days ago one of my pregnant clients had a miscarriage. I visited her in the hospital. Even though the pregnancy was not one that she desired, she was in tears. No words can comfort from across a room. With her permission, I gave her a hug and wrapped my arms around her. Just as Jesus accepted me as I was when I first came to him, I was able to recognize my client as the valuable person God made her. Can you do the same for someone you meet today?