Time and Touch

  • Feb. 20, 2008
  • #6733

In an age where texting on a cell phone is a common form of communication, we've lost the art of talk, which is essential to Christian fellowship and evangelism.

I was sitting at the airport the other day watching a couple of teenagers.  They were sitting with their parents, waiting for the plane.  They were leaning back in their seats and playing with, what I thought was, a small video game.  I looked closer and realized that, no, they were text messaging on their cell phones.  For a good half hour, the two of them went on talking to their friends.  Let me take that back.  They weren't talking.  They were texting as the new word goes; it's a whole new way of communicating in our electronic age.  As I sat there watching their thumbs go a mile-a-minute on the cell phone keypad, I thought to myself, Now isn't that funny!  They're holding a phone, why don't they just talk on it to the person they're text messaging?  I mean...that's what you use a cell phone for, right? You talk on it.

But friend that's just it.  We don't want to talk do we?  We don't want to take the time to relate.  We've lost the art of conversation.  More and more we are isolating ourselves from one another, walling ourselves away, keeping an arms-length distance from communicating - that is, really connecting with each other.  We don't like being face-to-face, so we talk on the phone; and if that's too personal, we'll use the keypad to text each other.  Now I don't use text-messaging, but I must confess I fall into the same trap with email.  I have two co-workers whose desks are within 15 feet of my office, and what do I do?  I email them.  Rather than wheel out of my office to ask a question, I'll send an email. 

The other day I heard my friend, Billy, talking about this, and he was sharing how giving the love of Christ requires four things:  time, talent, treasure, and touch.  Many of us give our treasure, and our talent, and lots of us give our time -- but boy we balk at the idea of giving our touch, don't we?  That's getting a little too personal, a little too relational. We don't want to be face-to-face, we don't want to get involved in the needs of others... bearing their burden... or as Billy put it, pushing a wheelchair.

Giving the love of Christ is a face-to-face thing.  The love of Christ has a voice -- it is a talking thing.  It is relationship; it's connecting; it's bearing the burden, helping, giving, listening and most of all, touching.  The love of Christ has a touch. 

I really do think that's what our world is hungry for, although it might not admit it. Although the teenagers in that airport doing text-messaging might not know it, I think it's what they are thirsty for, too.  We all long for authenticity... we want the real thing.  Well, we won't experience the love of Christ through an email or a text message or a voice mail.  It will involve time.  It will involve talent, treasure, touch, and, if I might add, talk.  It's what I Corinthians 13 looks like and sounds like.  Remember that today, friend.  The love of Christ has a voice.  The love of Christ has a touch.  And the voice, touch and time and treasure come from you. 

©  Joni and Friends

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