10 Jul Touch
Has anyone ever touched you like you longed to be touched?
A touch so real and penetrating it touched not just your flesh or hormones but your heart?
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with touch. For any of you that have been physically or sexually abused, you get it. You too were touched in such a way that it penetrated not only your heart but left your soul scarred.
Memories now flash through my mind of moments of abusive or unwanted touch that can still make my skin crawl. It’s those kind of touches my self-protective nature has had a hard time calling the watchdogs off the fence long enough to let any good touch in.
Because . . . I do want to be touched. Hugged, held, loved.
Navigating the world of touch can be so hard, especially for those that have wrestled with same-sex attraction. We wake up one random day and realize we crave to be touched in a way that we don’t understand at first or can’t describe. We just know we want more . . . more than we should. Why? Is it our flesh that is just craving it? Is there something deeper that our soul thirsts for and desires?
It’s here that I hear Jesus’ words from John 7:37,
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”
Which makes me wonder, is your soul thirsty? Does it long to be touched?
I think back to my past. Moments of physical touch I craved but left me hauntingly empty when the desire was fulfilled. The emptiness would end when the craving would begin again. Like a drug whose high couldn’t be sustained I would take another hit off the pipe of physical pleasure. Pleasure of this type was a lie when at the end it just brought pain to my soul. Which is a truth I’ve come to realize, you can’t touch my body without touching my soul.
What touch then was my body and soul really craving and thirsting for?
Was it something more?
Is Jesus’ invitation to come and drink really one that can satisfy both?
At this point in my journey there’s only a few things in this world I know for sure. I know I like the sunshine and to be outdoors. I know most days I feel more like a mess than a masterpiece and that’s okay. I know this life is hard and I won’t ever have that security or lasting happiness until Jesus calls me home.
I also know that through a lot of pride-shattering, tear-filled moments, the touch of Jesus really can satisfy the thirst my soul desires. For those of you that might be reading and questioning, is Jesus really enough? Can this craving I have ever be controlled, killed, or subdued? Can the love I want to feel and experience really come from an obedient relationship with God? Can He really do something with this mess of me?
I say yes.
Yes to all of the above.
Yes, He can sustain you. Fill you. Thrill you. Touch you in such a way that desires for other touches lessen or completely go away. And yes, for some, desires for heterosexual touch can be redeemed or restored.
Whatever touch your heart is thirsting for today, know there is a touch from Jesus waiting to satisfy.
It may mean you need to pray. Or dive into Scripture and read. Or reach out to a safe church friend and be real. Or make one and let their touch be Jesus with skin on.
Maybe you need to just breathe. Let go of the worry of what your desires will look like tomorrow and just let Jesus have your today. Just simply hear his invitation to “Come and drink.”, and respond.
Because you don’t have to die of thirst.
No, Jesus’ promise is for an abundant, overflowing life. I used to doubt that. I thought I would always struggle. I thought my soul would always feel a gut-wrenching, unquenchable pain. It doesn’t anymore.
Yes, I still hurt from time to time. Yes, I groan and cry and beg for the day when Jesus will take me home so the moments of hurt will forever pass. But it is different now. I’ve drank enough of His love to have seen verse 38 come to life:
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Notice it takes BELIEF.
Which makes me wonder as you listen to the desires of your heart, do you believe that a touch from Jesus is enough?