Max DePree was the CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., and a nationally known speaker and writer on the subject of leadership. He told a story from his own life that vividly demonstrates the power of a literal, physical touch of gracve.
Soon after DePree’s married daughter became pregnant, her husband moved out and abandoned her. So she was alone when the baby was born about four months prematurely.
“I went to the hospital to see my new grandchild for the first time”, DePree recalled, “and there in that incubator was a tiny little baby, about the size of my hand, with wires running from his body to a lot of monitors and machines.”
As he watched silently as his grandchild struggled for life, DePree was approached by the senior nurse on duty.
“Mr. DePree, that baby’s father isn’t here. So, for the next several months you are going to have to be this baby’s surrogate father. When you visit the baby, go to the incubator, put your hand through the cuffs, and stroke the child. As you touch your grandchild with your hands, talk to the child. It’s very important that he experiences your voice and touch together”.
Voice and touch – together.
This is how our gospel must be communicated. The Story of God’s grace must not only be told in words.
If we want to reach people today, we must model an evangelism of grace. We must communicate not only with a clear voice but with the authentic touch of grace. Our evangelism must be a hands on evangelism, where we dare to reach out and touch human lives.
Our voice must be clear and our touch must be real.
Can you think of a time in your life when God used another person to bring his voice and his touch together in your life?
Can you think of someone in your life who needs to experience the combination of God’s voice and touch?
Why not pray now – simply – “God, thank you that you have both spoken to me and touched me personally. Would you please use me to model and demonstrate your voice and touch to others?”
Adapted from The Power of Story by Leighton Ford (2015)