Cover Image: Handle with Care

Handle with Care

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Member Reviews

At the airport, you see a lot of things with the sign: "Handle with care"... Even the book I just finished. I want... No... I NEED a t-shirt with those words right now 😅🙈 (too crowded). The important When I read Lore Ferguson's words I always find myself thinking deeply, sometimes I feel encouraged, others confronted, a lot of them loved and understood, but most of all I feel moved... I'm thankful for her honesty and how she let God use her broken pieces and the hard parts of her story to share true hope. I remember years ago when I googled several times to find out if she had a book, and I was amazed she did not. Her blog is still worth reading and I found myself wanting to read more. That is the reason why I was so excited when I knew she wrote her first book! I just knew I had to read it. I never imagined the topic was going to move me that much. I cried in some pages 😢 for good (I'm also thankful for the sweet/thoughtful letter she added. You will see she didn't want to hurt and that she cares. I read a lot and I'm amazed this is the first book I read about this topic: touching. It has given me a fresh understanding about it, a lot to think and talk about with people I love (The ones with a need of a big personal space and the ones who are always close and wanting to touch 💭). TOMORROW we celebrate release day/week, so I just wanted to remember you this: if you pre-order TODAY you will enjoy some goodies🎁. I'm sure you won't regret it. Buy the Kindle version or the printed one. I like it and is useful to get both 🤓.
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I am glad for Lore's boldness in writing this book that I think the church desperately needs. Physical touch in the church has always been a controversial topic. Lore has a very gentle approach specifically noting she is not being prescriptive and also acknowledging the hurt that touch has caused to those who have experienced abuse. She truly highlights how the ministry of Jesus redeems touch in contrast to the Old Testament which has many rules about not touching. Singleness is woven throughout the book and this book is relevant for everyone no matter what stage of a relationship they are in. 

Unfortunately this book has come out in the midst of a pandemic where social distancing is of utmost importance, but hopefully we can implement these practices sooner rather than later!
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‘Handle With Care’, wow... How I needed you.

I know right off the bat some of you may not see the need for a book about touch when we are in the middle of a season where touch is frowned upon and in many places heavily discouraged, but this is exactly why I think we need this message right now. In a world where we already don’t receive enough touch from others, most of us are absolutely craving healthy and life-giving touch now (whether we acknowledge it or not).

This book breaks down so many barriers that keep the church from healthy physical touch. Our society hyper-sexualizes almost everything, and I felt that this book speaks so much truth into how that hurts the Church community and BOTH singles and married couples. I love that ‘Handle with Care’ discusses physical touch for what it is: a gift from God to love others in appropriate and consensual ways that honor Him and His Word.

We all deserve physical touch, and we have the right for that physical touch to be healthy and not harmful. We deserve physical touch that helps us grow closer to our significant other who is not our spouse while still honoring God’s design for sex. We deserve physical touch in our marriage that isn’t always about sex. We deserve to experience loving and friendly physical touch in our friendships. Kids deserve to experience examples of appropriate physical touch that help them feel loved and safe. All of this is good when we lead by Christ’s example.

This book is beautifully written and I appreciate Lore’s honesty and sensitivity surrounding touch. It reaches all audiences.
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We need this book. We need a book that talks about touch honestly and with an unflappable determination to get beyond the uncomfortable and taboo to what is underneath. Lore looks at ten situations around touch and does an incredible job of going back to scripture. We far too often let culture and fear keep us from truly engaging in healthy ways. Lore sets that back into alignment and welcomes us on the journey with her.
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An incredibly honest, beautiful, vulnerable book about how Jesus used physical touch in his ministry and how we, as his followers, can love on our people using physical touch as well. Absolutely a must-read! I've added it to our married to-read list.
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I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars for this one, because when it comes to books dealing with Scripture, I want to be careful about what I recommend. I don’t know that I necessarily “agree” with everything here, including how some passages are interpreted or applied, but I am going with 5 stars because it is such a unique and beautiful book, especially having read it during the time of social distancing and avoiding touch. 
In the beginning of the book, Lore Wilbert states that her aim in writing it is not to give a “how to” manual for appropriate touch, but to help the reader think differently about touch. Without a doubt, for this reader at least, that goal was accomplished.
The author shares candidly about her own experiences with touch, including growing up during the purity culture of the 1990s, abuse at a young age, and how healthy touch for those who aren’t married is important for the church family to provide. 
So much of leading Christian thought on touch is focused on avoidance: don’t do this, don’t touch that. This book is an invitation to look first to Jesus as our model for using our bodies for the good of those around us, rather than avoiding touch out of fear of man. I thought it was very well done and will continue to think about it in the future.
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Handle With Care is quite simply one of the most interesting books I have ever read. As someone who CRINGES at the idea of unwanted touch, this book was a hard one for me to get into at first. At the start, just the amount of times the word "touch" was used had my shoulders tensed and my heart beating rapidly. But around the halfway point, I was absolutely blown away. Wilbert addresses touch within Christianity, as single/married people, children, abused individuals, as people who lived through the purity culture craze, platonic friends, etc. The list goes on and on and it's gooooood stuff.
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Wilbert writes that this is not a "how to" for touching, rather it's a memoir-study hybrid full of questions, experiences, and interpretations of scripture to get readers thinking about the topic. And boyyy am I thinking. Am I convicted? Yes. And I convinced? I'm not sure. *Almost 100% of these thoughts were completely new to me!* I will be processing this book for a long time.
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I HIGHLY recommend this, especially to a mature group of Christian women for discussion. Without a doubt, the church needs this book. Well done 👏 Last thing and then I'll stop - Wilbert wrote with her heart and soul. This is an incredible topic and her ability to write with grace, intelligence and heart, with absolutely zero condemnation blew me away. I am recklessly throwing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ at Handle With Care. I may not understand it all now, but wow, am I thinking.
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"Much of the confusion about touch in dating or engagement stems not only from our innate desire for instant gratifcation, but the confusing narrative we're given within the church and the world".

In her book , Lore Ferguson Wilbert writes about the ministry of touch of Jesus and how the modern day church and its culture can begin to reflect his heart. 

I am not sure I agree with all of her arguments (though I do agree with a lot of it), but I do very much appreciate Wilbert's tackling such a niche and necessary topic of touch, as well as and her candidness and vulnerability to share with the readers her experiences. This book is sure to open up the necessary and much overdue conversations around touch.
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Most of us really do want to use touch in good and godly ways. But in an age where the wrong kind of touch is rampant and in a culture where touch is often incorrectly perceived, Handle with Care is a much needed resource. Theologically reflective, deeply moving, and above all a helpful field guide for what healthy touch looks like. The timing of reading this book during the middle of a social distancing COVID-19 global moment also makes it a particularly poignant read, as those of us who care for others through touch long for a time when healthy, caring touch can return. Most of all, Lore Ferguson Wilbert points us to Jesus as our expert guide to emotionally healthy, theologically informed, God-glorifying touch. Recommended.
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I have just finished Handle With Care, and I am trying to find words. We need this book. I need this book. It's not about sexual abuse policies; it's about how to touch in general--and not even how to touch, but a theology of why we should touch and what kind of relationship we should have with our and others' physical bodies as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I've never suffered physical abuse, but as I read this book on Saturday, I thought about ways I have/have not been touched, and ways I have/have not touched others, and I wept. A deep OCD spiral affected the way I touch others, and probably the way others touch me. I miss that lost sense of touch. Also, the chapter about touching self raised painful thoughts about body image that I have dealt with since fairly young. I hope to write more about these things in the context of my own personal circle, but I appreciate the way Lore's book made me think about how I want to continue to heal and grow in light of these struggles.

This book brings to light new questions and can raise some hard memories, but it also makes us think about a topic we rarely think about, except in the sexual abuse context. As a single in the church, I appreciate the way Lore encourages the church to avoid fear-driven polices and think deeply about how we can love as Jesus loved with our physical bodies. Physical touch is a missing component of our ministries, and this book raises an important conversation I hope we continue beyond its pages. I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher.
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The author considers all the ways church has forbidden touch and sets out to redeem it. She's brave in covering all topics. I appreciated what she shared about Jesus's willingness to touch and heal people, regardless of what society thought about it.
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An interesting topic, given that we are currently avoiding touching anyone during a pandemic. I appreciate Wilbert's passion on the subject, although I don't completely agree with her.
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This book brought me to tears. I come from a background and tradition that encourages casual, appropriate touch — it's a primary way that I give and receive love. Lore's poignant, personal reflections on the sacredness of touch, and her journey with it in the church and in relationships come from such a different experience than mine — and *that's* one of the many reasons I love the book so much, and will treasure it to come. 

Her writing is lyrical, poetic, and precise. I've heard and seen her in social media and in podcasts, and the book feels almost like being in another human being's presence. I believe Handle With Care will become a classic.
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“God in flesh allowed himself to be made vulnerable so the broken might be healed. We cannot fully heal people by touching them, but we recognize their humanity, their story, their issue of blood, by allowing ourselves to be touched by them. Like Jesus, we should simply make ourselves within reach, available to however God might use us in his healing narrative.”

A beautiful book on the healing power of touch. Lore covers a wide range of topics with wisdom, generosity, and nuance -- singleness, marriage, self-touch and self-care, and abuse, just to name a few. And yet, as difficult and diverse as these subjects are, everything is placed alongside Jesus' life and ministry.

**Full review at The Rabbit Room**
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Healthy touch is a subject that comes up often in my world, whether walking with singles or with marrieds. Jesus modeled the restorative effects of touch two thousand years ago. Lore Wilbert’s vulnerability in sharing her personal experiences of both healthy and harmful touch encourages a greater intentionality as we navigate relationships. Even more of a gift is the way she walks the reader through scripture every step of the way. This is a book for anyone desiring a deeper knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ ministry and how it should shape our ministry today.
I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book from the publisher.
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This book was a great read! I never knew that others felt the same way I did about touch! I believe this is a must have for our Christian school library for students and teachers a like!
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I’ve been waiting for Lore Ferguson Wilbert to write a book for years, and I’m not the only person—as pictures of her book have popped up on social media during release week, it seems as though every person has shared how much they have longed for the day when Lore’s words would show up on our doorsteps, hardbound. When I first heard what this book would be about, I did not think this topic would impact me as deeply as it did. As someone who teaches children who have been abused, I appreciated how delicately she talked about touch in relation to little ones. This is a book that everyone should read, but my prayer is for it to circulate through the church, changing the lives of all who open its pages.
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What does it mean to touch well? Is it possible, and if so, what does that look like in today's world?

Tackling a subject so many, perhaps especially Christians, don't know how to talk about and instead sidestep around, Lore instead dives in deep. While there are a few things that Lore does not mention or talk about in great detail, which is understandable within the limited of a traditional nonfiction title and page count, she does not shy away from the many different "topics" surrounding touch. I particularly appreciated that she clearly took time to think through many different people who may pick up this book -- married, divorced, widowed, single, with and without children, etc. Because she took the time and wrote in a way that is not exclusive or aimed specifically at one group, this book will minister to many.
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⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣In Handle With Care, Lore doesn’t give prescriptive, rule-based advice (thank God!), but comes alongside readers to share what she’s learned about the ministry of touch in scripture.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Woven throughout the book are her experiences with touch - harmful, helpful, and healing - both given and received. She writes about abuse, the ramifications of purity culture, loving and valuing our bodies (“matter matters”), our need for regular, healthy touch, and embodied faith.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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“Who is my neighbor? Everyone. God made us with bodies and came in a body and died in a body and rose again in a body, and one day all His people will dwell with Him forever - every one of us in our own glorified body. Each of those realities matter to the entire gospel narrative and so they should each inform the way we interact with the world around us, our fellow humans on earth. It should inform how we touch and are touched, even by those we have seemingly no personal relationship. We are persons and therefore all our relationships are personal.”⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

That'll preach.
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In this book Lore examines how Jesus touched others throughout his ministry. The author then explores how touch can be redeemed in the church, in our marriage, and in the people we meet each day. 
This book caused me to think of how I need to intentionally touch my mom and grandmother, both widows, whether it be with a hug or kiss on the cheek. Lore’s words in regard to touch in marriage challenged me to show love to my husband by just holding his hand or rubbing his back at night. Simple gestures of love that we have lost through the years. My eyes are now open for the hurting, the abused, and the down and out, that may not know the sincere touch of someone who cares for them. 
Lore shares candidly from her own experiences. She writes thoughtfully, truthfully and always points her readers to Christ.
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