Title: The Power of Shalom Touch
Author: Patience I. Hove
Publisher: Self (2014)
ISBN: 978-079 74-62625
“I need your touch again” is a very popular line in modern Christendom, and has also found its way in many worship songs. It speaks to a believer’s longing for a sense of sentimental contact with the Divine.
Between the Lines: Beniah Munengwa
In essence, “touch” can either be physical or spiritual, at least according to Patience Hove, the author of the book, The Power of Shalom Touch. Hove is the founding bishop of Elshaddai International Ministries.
She argues in the book under review that workplaces, homes, families and lives are all affected by touch. A leader who uses goodwill, love and persuasion imparts a mark of inspiration into their subordinates and followers, while one who does not leads people along the pathway of retrogression.
There are those that lead and those that are led, but in this relationship, no matter what degree of caution is taken, wounds tend to happen. To heal these wounds, Hove contends that counselling is a critical intervention that can mend broken functionalities.
The ambiguity of “touch” compelled Hove to explore the subject and break it down for the reader in digestible nuggets. She, however, does not merely focus on touch, but deals with its shalom element, which she defines as “a state of harmony, concord, tranquility, felicity and security”.
To a nation like Zimbabwe, where the best of moments have been a reserve of memory rather than the present, it is important that citizens get an appreciation of how poor handling of emotions and words by leaders can torch the flame of citizens’ anger and precipitate ills like violence, which can consequently lead to death and destruction of property.
Hove begins by defining “shalom power” as a phenomenon which has a far-reaching impact on humanity. But to be able to distribute shalom to others, they first have to find peace within their soul.
Grounded on Christian principles, the book draws significantly from the Bible, which the author is very conversant with. Hove uses, for instance, the popular biblical story of the woman with the issue of blood, whose 12-year flow is immediately stemmed when she “touches” the hem of Jesus’ garment.
This passage of scripture illustrates how, through touch, a person sought attention and expressed her sense of need. It also shows the need for one to know who to contact, for without that knowledge, one might endure a lifetime of suffering.
The evidence offered in this text is, however, not only sourced from the Bible alone, but stretches toward experiences drawn from the author’s personal and professional life. That, on its own, helps in making the text relatable and inspirational as readers may also get to draw parallels with their lives.
Although the “shalom touch” is described as a highly accessible realm, it has got its own hindrances that halt a person’s availability to access it. These hindrances include lack of knowledge on how to access or give the touch and how its power can be circumvented by unbelief.
Christians are encouraged to find a way of being touched by God’s word, his spirit and a sense of having a good heart for them to become examples of what society should be like. Touch should be reciprocal in a way that discourages selfishness by encouraging people to do deeds that positively impact the lives of others.
Each chapter begins with a verse, followed by multitudes of broken down flesh for a reader to decipher then ends with a nugget that wraps up the chapter and gives the reader an opportunity to reflect on the subject matter dealt with in that chapter.
All components of a compact book are there, but the only weakness is that in some instances the text does not flow as smoothly as it should and is devoid of the competence that an English text ordinarily demands. These shortfalls are not expected from a person with a large catalogue of books to her name. These are issues a competent editor could have easily taken care of.
Hove has written dozens of other books, including Pains of a Christian Woman, while there is a string of several more lined up for the publishing press.
Beniah Munengwa writes in his own capacity. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org