We’re too impersonal. The advent of computers and smart phones makes it even easier to be impersonal. With social media we operate under the illusion that we’re connected, but we’re really not. When we lose that personal interaction with one another, we lose a lot more than we think.
Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” – Mark 8:25-26, ESV
In Bethsaida people brought a blind man to Jesus. Jesus promptly escorted the man out of the village. When they had gotten away, Jesus spit on the man’s eyes and laid his hands on him. This seemed to restore part of the man’s sight. Jesus then put his hands on the man’s eyes again and the man could see. We know Jesus could have said, “You are healed,” and the man would have had his sight restored. So why did Jesus go through all this effort in order to restore a man’s sight?
In many of the miracles we see Jesus laying hands or doing something that creates a personal touch, a one-on-one connection, with the one needing healing. Typically when we’re dealing with something long term, especially a physical disability, we suffer mentally and emotionally, too. Something as simple as a touch by someone who cares can make a huge difference. Whether it’s a hug or simply a hand on a shoulder, that physical act often carries a stronger message of compassion and love than any set of words can.
When it comes to connecting with people, face-to-face communications and interaction is going to be stronger than something over the computer. Even if it’s a brief chat a few minutes each day, we establish a connection. Once we establish a connection we can build upon it. If physical interaction isn’t possible, a phone call is still often better than a text message, email, or social media post.
Our churches today tend to be too disconnected. So do our families and our neighborhoods. It’s because we are allowing ourselves to become more isolated. As you begin this year, seek to reverse this trend. Reach out to the people around you. Look for face-to-face conversations. Seek to spend time with others in person. Even if you are extremely introverted like I am, it’s important. It’s the example Jesus demonstrated often. It’s our model from Him. Seek to make things personal in a positive way. Get out from behind your computer or heads down staring at your smart phone. Interact and build relationships. Your life will be enriched as a result.