Friends, family, teachers, clergy and so many others touch our lives. But how many of us think of this as a “touch”? What does it mean to be touched? Friends call for lunch. Relatives come to visit. Our priest celebrates Mass. These are not just daily interactions. These are examples of the ‘Face of Jesus’ in our lives.
Special people in my life have touched me with a comment, a sweet thought, a telephone call when I needed it the most, or an unplanned visit. Somehow using the word “touched” makes that comment, or thought, or call, or visit, a little extra special. When I use the phrase “I was touched”, I mean my heart was touched, I shed a tear. It’s those random, out-of-the-ordinary things people do for us, or we do for them, which make them even more meaningful than if we were expecting them.
Do you touch lives?
How often do you just pick up a phone and call someone for no reason? Not often? Maybe you should. When was the last time you complimented someone for even the smallest of things? I’m especially fond of the phrase “It’s the little things that mean the most”. The big things are easy. Many call these random acts of kindness. These acts shouldn’t be the exception. They should be the rule.
I’ve been touched
A couple of years ago, I planned on watching the Super Bowl alone, as I typically do. But this year was different. A dear friend suggested we have a Super Bowl party at my home. This was totally unexpected. But in my heart, I knew he suggested it because he didn't want me to be alone, or at least this is what I believe. Two others were invited. I was clearly touched. I knew all of them could easily have had other options...other places they could have had more fun. But they were Jesus for me that evening. I'll never forget that day.
Every day I think about the many people in my life and thank God for them. They have made me a better Catholic, a better person, a better friend. Clearly, each wears the ‘Face of Jesus’. And the most touching “touch” is the touch I receive from Our Lord every morning when He allows me to get up and try and make a difference. He’s counting on me to carry the cross for others. It is a privilege to know He trusts me with this amazing gift. It’s up to me to not let Him down.
Our odds of getting to heaven have to be exponentially increased by the lives we touch while here on earth. A kind word, listening to someone talk, when you clearly don’t have time, or even accepting an invitation from an elderly person for dinner, when you’d rather spend your time doing something else are examples of how we can touch someone’s life. Even raking the leaves of a neighbor for no reason but because it’s the kind thing to do, is another one of those gifts of “touch”. We’ve all heard the term WWJD……. “What would Jesus do”? That’s an easy answer. He’d be a listener, having that dinner and raking those leaves. If all of us thought about just one simple way each day to touch another person’s life, imagine how we could change the world, put a smile on another person’s face, and, as a bonus, experience a bit of humility which is exactly what Jesus wants of us.
Whenever I think about how I could touch someone’s life consciously or unconsciously, I think about the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Remember when Clarence says to George “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives.” What if you had never been born? How would the world be different? How many lives have you touched? How many lives were affected because you touched them?
HE was the first to change lives.
Then I remember the one single life that did change the world. What if Jesus had not been sent by God the Father? Sorry. My brain cannot even imagine such a thing. All I know is that my life was touched by Jesus through the wonderful people I know to be my friends. There are people who have touched my life and don’t really realize how much. As I get older, I find the need to be sure I tell them. For some reason, many are shy about telling those in their lives how they feel about them…… to tell them they love them. At this point in my life, with time flying by so much faster than when I was younger, I am not shy about telling them I love them. I would not be where I am today without a small handful of people who touch me, making me closer to Jesus. And now, I try and do the same to also touch other lives.
To touch is to be touched
The hearts you touch will allow your own heart to melt as well. The joy on the face of those we touch is a gift to Jesus. So, put on the ‘Face of Jesus’ today, and touch someone’s life. You’ll feel the joy and I venture to guess, you’ll make it the gift that keeps on giving.