Thursday, July 23, 2009

What does "Touched Twice" mean?

Over the years Perry and I have been introduced many times as the directors of "twice touched." It always makes me laugh - it almost sounds kinky or like the white coats are coming. So first of all, the name of the national ministry is: Touched Twice. This name was attached to the work of a band of idealistic twenty-somethings who all believed they could make a difference. We believed that by sharing the gifts and talents God had given us, we could enrich the lives of others. So, back in 1996 we pooled the resources of an optician, nurse, social worker and a musician. We shared what we had in a tiny church in downtown Louisville, KY. Over 300 people showed up and received vision screenings and recycled pairs of glasses.

There are countless stories of what it means to be touched twice. But conceptually, the first touch is meeting an individuals most pressing need. For many who can not see to drive, to work, and to properly care for their families - a pair of glasses is a gift that words can not describe. The second touch is love. It is Jesus with skin on. The most remarkable aspect of Touched Twice, is that the server inevitably is touched as dramatically as the one being served. It is an unbelievable turn of events.

In closing, when I think about the state of health care in the United States now in 2009, I am amazed. Back in 1996 vision and dental care for adults was the greatest need. Today millions of Americans have limited access to affordable general medical care.

Could the concept of sharing what we have with our neighbors really work? Could we have neighborhoods and communities transformed through service? What would it mean if each of us touched our neighbors twice - first with a loaf of bread, second with the healing message of the Gospel? That's far from kinky. The concept of Touched Twice is life transforming!