I have been deeply moved by these pictures of the Pope touching the man with the disfigurement that have gone viral across the Internet. Not because the Pope is doing something supernatural or mystical to that of other human beings, but because pictures like these still get a reaction. We find it fascinating that someone of influence could rise to the occasion so as to show deeply-felt emotion and empathy toward another human being.
Is it really that surprising? And how sad that this is so.
The Pope has touched a man with a disfigured face. He has touched. So ought we. So ought we to do the same under similar circumstances. To touch another human being -- to show that we care.
I have a loved one right now in long-term care who is severely disfigured due to a tragic car accident nearly 30 years ago. What moves me more than anything are those nurses and resident care workers who take the time to touch her. To do her nails. To brush her hair. To rub lotion into her hands. To massage her scalp. What moves me are the children who volunteer to come into her world so as to share with her a bit of theirs. They cannot help but touch.
It's really the little things that make the world go round. Her world is the four walls of a manor. If not for the little things, where would she be? What would her world look like?
When we see pictures such as these, may they serve to remind us as human beings sharing this space -- this world: that we all have loved ones somewhere, someplace in need of a touch. And if not now: we will someday. And more significantly, perhaps, we will all someday be in that vulnerable position of needing a touch from the human extension of the hands and fingers of God.
We are the Body.
And if we are the Body, our hands should be touching. Our feet should be moving. Our eyes should be seeing. Our ears should be listening. Our hearts must be growing- beyond the capacity which we once thought possible. For all things are possible.
And when we see people in all their frailty, may it serve to remind us that we are all fragile. We are all just a little bit broken in parts. And yet, we are all beautiful. For there is rare beauty in fragility. In brokenness. There is healing for those that understand their weakness.
Bless the frail. Bless the broken. Bless those who need the blessing most.
And may God bless the Body: of which, we are.