Sunday, March 22, 2020

Holy Hugs and Kisses

Probably everyone in the world has been affected by the coronavirus scare. Cities, states, and countries have issued varying levels of lockdown. I’m used to hanging out somewhere every day to drink coffee and work online with my laptop. McDonald’s, Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee are still open but currently serve only drive-thru customers. Therefore, I’m mostly having coffee at home.

Churches have also been impacted by the coronavirus. This past Wednesday I planned on going to one’s midweek service but found out they were live-streaming only. Fortunately, I heard of another fellowship that stayed open and went there instead. It felt good to worship the Lord in the presence of other believers. A guest minister advised us not to be critical of pastors who temporarily cancel gatherings out of respect to government guidelines and concern for those fearful of the virus.

Although I’ve mostly stayed at home working on various projects, there have been opportunities to share the gospel. Four days ago, a man came over to fix the clothes dryer. When he took a break, Va prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. The previous Sunday when restaurants still permitted inside dining, the Lord instructed me to go to McDonald’s. There I ministered to the young man who took my order. After Devon prayed to get saved, I witnessed to another employee standing next to him. Khaleed held my hand across the counter and bowed his head while asking Jesus to come into his heart. Just before I left McDonald’s, Khaleed came up to say thanks and twice hugged me. He appeared to have no fear of contracting the virus.

Nevertheless, authorities are advising people to practice what’s called social distancing. That got me thinking about how some individuals are more “touchy-feely” than others. One Facebook friend pointed out quarantines are mentioned in the Bible. However, all of them are in the Old Testament. Scripture encourages physical affection. Three times we are told to greet each other with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12, and 1 Thessalonians 5:26). The prodigal son’s father fell on his son’s neck and kissed him even though his son probably smelled like pigs. Jesus wasn’t afraid to touch the lepers. Neither should we be afraid to lay hands on those who need a touch from heaven.

At the same time, we should be mindful of those who might feel uncomfortable having someone touch them. While doing street ministry, it’s best to get permission before laying hands on the sick. Otherwise, they might “lay hands” on you and then you will need healing. 

“Do not lay hands on anyone hastily…”
- 1 Timothy 5:22

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