On October 17, 1995 Kyrie and Brielle Jackson of Westminster, Massachusetts were born prematurely at the Medical Center of Central Massachusetts Memorial and each placed in a separate incubator. On November 12, 1995, barely a month old, Brielle seemed to be losing the battle to survive, she was struggling to breathe, her heart rate was soaring, her oxygen levels were dropping. “She was turning colors,” the twins’ mother, Heidi Jackson, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “She was getting really worked up…She was getting hiccups. You could tell she was just completely stressed out.”
On the other hand her sister Kyrie who was born about 3 ounces heavier, was thriving and doing well.
Looking for a way to help Brielle, nurse Gayle Kasparian, remembered a technique that was not commonly used in the United States called ‘double bedding’. It simply involved putting the separated twins in the same crib and having them lie close to one another. Kasparian put Brielle in the incubator with Kyrie, the twin sister with whom she had not been with since birth.
When the sister was placed in the incubator, Kyrie, who was healthy, put her little arm around Brielle and snuggled up close to her sister. Amazingly the improvement was almost instantaneous. The Telegram & Gazette reported, “She calmed right down. It was immediate. It was absolutely immediate.”
To this day, the hug is known as the ‘rescuing hug’. As a result of this experience, changes were made to the way medicine was practiced in the US, and medicine soon came to learn the importance of touch.
We were born weak into a sinful world. If it were not for the divine arm that was extended to embrace us through Jesus Christ, we would have been left to die. It is the divine ‘Rescuing Hug’ that gives you and me life. It is the divine ‘Rescuing Hug’ that gives you and me hope. God has revealed himself to us through these words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Yet, we often keep God at arms-length. We keep things intellectual and safe. We avoid meeting God where He is, in the needy people around us. In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the sheep and the goats, “What you did for the least of these my brethren, you did for Me.” Powerful words. Words that remind us the way we can be in an intimate lifesaving relationship with Jesus is not just through Bible Study, but by rolling up our sleeves and offering a helping hands to those that we see are in need. The destitute, the criminals, those whom society often turns its back. Just as Christ offers us that lifesaving embrace, He wants to do the same for others through us.
When was the last time you allowed God to touch someone through you?
To watch a report on the ‘Rescuing Hug’ click on the link below: