If I touch your clothes
There’s a handful of regular readings in the 3 Year cycle that I’m especially attached to. I guess they’ve moved me enough to write a song. Or they happened to be on a Sunday when I just had to write something for an occasion.
1994. July 3 was the 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Mark 5:21-43 was the gospel reading, and "If I just touch his clothes" was the theme we chose for the student service that evening. I wrote this song for that service, in St Louis, Missouri, USA, writing words at a nice round table and the music at an equally attractive piano in the home of Janis and Jerry Frick.
1. If I touch your clothes, will you take my pain,
give me back my health and strength again?
If I touch your clothes, will I feel alright?
Can you change despair into delight?
I think I learnt many years ago that Bible stories are not just meant for hearing, but for identifying with, for finding ourselves in the story. So we too are the woman desperate to be healed of not just a debilitating condition but of something that excludes her from the worshipping community.
Jesus, you can heal me, touch me now.
I don't understand but you know how.
Even when you have no word to say,
just a single touch and I'm OK, I'm OK.
And we might be feeling that our life is over. Or because of illness, it will be very soon.
2. If you touch my hand, will I start to breathe?
Break these chains of death and set me free.
If you touch my hand, will my heart respond?
Will I start to sing your brand new song? Jesus, you can heal me …
Baptism – dying & rising every day. Luther’s catechism leans on Romans 6: ‘By our baptism we were buried with him and shared his death so that, just as Christ was raised from death … we might live a new life too’.
3. If I die with you, Jesus, in your shame,
can I come with you and rise again?
Keep me close to you, branch upon your vine,
let my life be yours, and yours be mine.
Jesus, you can heal me, touch me now. I don't understand but you know how.
Even when you have no word to say, just a single touch and I'm OK, I'm OK. (Robin Mann © 1994)
Healing is God's work, and we are all invited to be healed and to join God in bringing health and wholeness wherever we go. Our prayers & our actions for healing, following Jesus, are occasionally for ourselves, but mostly for others
Robin Mann, June 22 2015
P.S. We recorded ‘If I touch’ for our ‘God Version 1.0’ CD in 1998.