And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. –Mark 1:40-42
There were many things within the economy of Israel that could make a person or an object unclean. Pollution and corruption are easily caught. Try to keep a new car scratch-free or a white shirt spotless. There is only one power in the universe that can touch the unclean and produce cleanness. Where else in this world can that which is pure and holy touch the dirty and depraved and not only remain clean itself but transform the thing touched as well?
Holiness flows downstream. The purest water comes from the highest mountain. If you are swimming upstream to reach some level of goodness, then you are going the wrong way. Receive the touch of Christ and be clean. Then let that gift continue to flow through you by faith downstream to others. What is the effect of our touch on the things around us? What is the effect on our own hearts as we come into contact with the world? In our own strength we only have the power to smudge or be smudged. The answer to this problem, of course, is not to put our hands in our pockets. The answer is to stretch them out in one direction to receive the redeeming grace of Jesus, then stretch them in the other direction to give that grace to another.