No One To Touch

In his book, Bent Hope: A Street Journal, Tim Huff invited 23 talented leaders, artists, writers and musicians to write thoughts, poems and prayers for all 23 chapters. One of those individuals is Greg Paul, author of God in the Alley and The Twenty Piece Shuffle.

Greg Paul

The following is what Greg wrote based on the story of Tim's experience with someone most of us would see as rabidly untouchable. I wanted to share it with you. For many victims of slavery, especially sexual slavery, the sense of forever being untouchable all the while being molested, raped, beaten, is a paradigm that only the Holy Spirit can overcome. We all long for pure touch. We all need it. No one is exempt.



I need to feel your arms around me.

I am surrounded by people
but feel so often alone
I long for intimacy
but carefully perch
where I can scrutinize every approach

The older I get
the more I feel I am a child
aching for the warm security
of your embrace

The stuff I had thought would fill me up
has sucked the life out of me
people I hoped would save me
have failed
and though I have tried
I have saved no one

Strange, this:
the weaker I become
the more child-like
the more clearly I hear you
calling me
to become also a parent

You have fixed nothing in my life
but you have held me
and I am learning
that this is all I need

Help me then
to place my arms
(as I rest in yours)
around another orphaned soul

and trust
that it is enough.

Greg Paul is the founder and Executive Director of Sanctuary,
a Christian ministry dedicated to establishing holistic, inclusive and
healthy community that welcomes individuals who are homeless, involved
in the sex trade, or suffering with addictions or AIDS, among many
other issues. Greg is Chair of the Advocacy Committee of StreetLevel:
The National Roundtable on Poverty and Homelessness, and has authored
two books, “God in the Alley” (Shaw Books), which was released in
December 2004, and “The Twenty Piece Shuffle: Why the Rich and the Poor
Need Each Other,” to be released in August, 2008.


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