Rubbing Elbows With the Almighty

Touch is a huge quality of a meaningful community of faith. Not that I’ve ever practiced greeting others with a “holy kiss”, although there were a couple of girls in my high school youth group at Ironton (Ohio) First Baptist Church I was open to experiencing that deeper spiritual possibility with,

photo of man and woman doing elbow bump

Photo by Gustavo Fring on

we always had handshakes and hugs. Touch was part of the healing of the hurting, a sign of empathy for another saint in the dark moments of the journey.

Now on Sunday morning, I touch elbows with the other members of the faith community I frequent. Maybe it’s not as giving as a handshake, but it’s a simple recognition of the bond between us.

In the Apostle Paul’s communication with the church of Philippi, known to us as the letter of joy, he writes “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:4-5, NIV)

The Lord is near! In this time of social distancing, it’s God’s way of whispering to me that he’s so close to me that we’re rubbing elbows. He’s so near that, like with my own dad growing up, I can lean on Him.

Some of the most meaningful biblical truths come in the simplest words. Just think about the elbow of the Almighty nudging you slightly, reminding you that the couch of worry you’re planted upon is being shared with the God who provides peace, the One who understands.

His elbow nudge is His reminder that when others wither away and circumstances pile up, He is near. When we lean into Him He will firmly stay with us.

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