Holding Hands with Strangers

This morning, like nearly every morning, I performed the ritual Twitter check. It’s definitely my version of the morning paper. I learn more in that little slice of time than I ever learned back in the old days of the daily Post or Chronicle. It’s like drinking from a fire hose of random news, ideas, and topics. That’s what I get for “following” so many people, right?

But, the “random” stuff isn’t truly random; it’s more like having my fingers on the pulse of a related group of people. Usually, those people are related to me by things we have in common: Christ, writing, social media, education, parenting, photography, music, etc. And, like always, they make me think.

For example, this morning I followed a tweet posted by @mashable, “Holding Hands with Strangers Is Not as Creepy as It Sounds.” I paused long enough to watch the YouTube video by ¬†Losing All Hope Was Freedom (LAHWF.) In the video, the main character (a man) walked alongside strangers in a mall setting and tried to hold hands with strangers. Let’s just say, he definitely broke social norms. Most people pulled away from him in surprise, but, surprisingly, a few returned his handclasp.

But, what if it were¬†normal to hold hands with strangers? What would that be like? Warmth offered. A pleasant touch. Feeling connected. The possibility of friendship. What if our parents hadn’t told us about “stranger danger?”

As a Christian, this idea challenges me: Who are the strangers? Aren’t they the ones Jesus called neighbors? Didn’t He die for all of the “strangers”? So, the next time I’m walking in the mall….

No, don’t expect me to grab for the hands of those walking in the same direction. But, please, challenge me to be the good neighbor and to extend a helping hand to others. Encourage me to be like Christ, who touched the lepers, the blind, the wounded, and the dying. Can I do less?

Related Scripture:
Luke 10:25-37

Tell me about your experiences “holding hands with strangers.” Write your comments below. And, as always, thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “Holding Hands with Strangers

  1. Very thought provoking — but I am going to guess that in today’s “climate” a person could get themselves checked out by at least the mall cops, before they could have clasped hands with more than half a dozen folks.

    Now — as to the reaching out to those in need and offering our help or at the very least making real eye contact and giving a warm greeting I do this kind of “reaching out and touching others” on a every trip to WallyWorld and/or the Mall basis. And yes, even at that level you see the “wow, what’s up with this woman?” response from the “stranger on the street” (or in WallyWorld or the mall).

    Keep sending the things that make us think — it keeps us on our toes!

    • Yep. I was surprised that the people in the video reacted in such a restrained manner; nobody was punched, slapped, or thrown to the ground. Thankfully. My question remains: What would our world be like if holding hands with strangers were the norm? Or, what would our world be like if we were simply kind to every stranger? And, if we met with abuse for our pains, what if we turned the other cheek?

      Thanks for your comments!

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