As the story goes, a woman who had been suffering for some time with a physical ailment made her way through a large crowd until she was close enough to touch the border of Jesus’ robe. Within moments she was healed.
When Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” his disciples thought he was joking. “The multitude throng thee and press thee,” they insisted, “and sayest thou, Who touched me?”
According to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, what the disciples didn’t understand was that it wasn’t this woman’s hand but rather her thought “whose touch called for aid” (see Science and Health, p. 86).
Whenever I read this story, I’m reminded of the millions around the world who, like this woman, continue to reach out for healing – “simple seekers for Truth, weary wanderers, athirst in the desert… waiting and watching for rest and drink,” as Eddy describes them (Science and Health, p. 570). The question is, am I being as receptive as Jesus to this mental call? Am I entertaining the same level of compassion, the same recognition of each individual’s capacity and right to reflect the presence and power of God’s infinite and unconditional love for His/Her creation? Am I trusting that such a divinely inspired frame of mind can and does make a difference in the lives of others?
A year or so ago a group of individuals in nearby Palo Alto tried a very different approach to this same challenge. Rather than emulating the example of Jesus, however – tapping into that innate spirit of love that God, divine Love itself, has given us all to express – they attempted to increase their empathy for others through the use of FitBit-like sensors and headsets designed to transmit the feelings and emotions of one individual to another. A well-intentioned exercise to be sure, but not likely one that that will ever provide the same spiritual heft as Jesus’ method of healing.
Perhaps, then, the two most important questions we should be asking ourselves are: Am I listening? Am I loving? To the degree we’re able to answer both questions in the affirmative, we’ll undoubtedly find ourselves realizing that we are in fact healing.