Teen Tuesday – Touching the Untouchables
I read a devotional once that pointed out how when Jesus healed the leper in Matthew 8, he reached out and touched him while he was still unclean BEFORE he healed him because he knew his deepest need was to be “touched” with kindness and love. As a leper, nobody touched him, not even family. He was lonely and starved for affection in the extreme. Yes, he needed to be healed, but above all, he needed someone to care and reach out to him even in all his “filth.”
But something else stood out to me as I read this passage this time. The leper tells Jesus, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.” He had another deep need – to be accepted and told he had value.
We are to imitate Christ and touch the untouchables. There are plenty of adult “untouchables,” but I think there may be even more in middle and high school. In the stage of life that is so self-conscious and dependent on the acceptance of others, many teens out there need to be told they have value and that they are accepted just the way they are. This acceptance and kindness can come from a fellow classmate, an older sibling, a mentor or teacher, or anyone for that matter.
So how do we do this? How do we reach out like Christ?
With a kind touch.
A kind word.
A kind action.
Just ask God to open your eyes to see these untouchables, and then ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. He’ll show you what to do.