By Gordon Strother
Only one of you, to my knowledge, has connected with Glenda's grandson Oliver, but not to worry; at the twitch of a smile he will connect with you too. He'll flash a smile right back, perhaps, scramble across the rug on quick, sure knees and hands, and for balance grasp your stretching fingers or your leg: and contact! Connection! He's on his feet, leaning against you, and you're laughing at each other, the implied question of that all-fours charge resolved by your hilarious contact, little fingers reaching big fingers, colliding gently with that gigantic warm leg. Who wouldn't laugh?
And if that connection isn't the original Magic Touch, you can frost my Wheaties. Nor is it a metaphor to call it electric. At first contact, the spidery neuron tips at the ends of those little fingers send minute zaps, neuron to neuron, right up to control central just behind those laughing eyes. And your gigantic warm leg? At the same instant, in a flash, your spidery neuron tips cascade selfsame signals upward. What a connection. What a marvel. Yet another of countless others which dance within our marvelous bodies. And yet, and yet we must remind ourselves, physiology begins with fizz. The smiles started it.
The power of touch goes beyond ergs and dynes. To Jesus, who in healing the untouchables, touched them, it was common knowledge that they felt nothing, that, in modern terms, the spidery peripheral neurons of those poor lepers were ruined. But his touch leaped over their amazing but idle networks straight to their hearts. Yesterday, flat out in the dentist's chair, with Joann, the assistant, standing over me on my left, I fiercely suppressed tears recalling such a touch delivered nearly thirteen years ago in that same room, that same chair. Lydia had just died and I was beyond black in my grief. The dentist had stepped out, and Joanne, touched beyond protocol, had spontaneously burst into tears and somehow had given me an awkward, marvelous hug. To this day, I'm unable to express to you how healing was that touching, connecting hug.
Such power is at our fingertips, Partner. You know it, I know it, and by his shared hilarious laugh Ollie knows it. No words necessary.
Our caring does not end at our church doors. God calls us to reach out to our community and the world. At Trinity we cultivate a culture that encourages members to regularly engage with, listen to, walk with, learn from, and develop relationships with those around us representing different racial and ethnic groups and social classes as we discern how to better prepare for and witness the Kingdom of God in the larger community.
We invite you to check these pages often for news on activities and insight from parishioners as we move forward on this journey.
Why is the Trinity Bell Ringing?
Parishioner Gordon Strother, as part of a ministry created by deathpenalty.org, tolls the bell at 6pm for two minutes on the evenings of a scheduled execution anywhere in the United States. Gordon has participated in this ministry for over 12 years.