"My friend Maryanne left a lucrative massage practice to work with the homeless. For a year she wandered the filthy, urine-soaked sidewalks in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, offering to massage, with loving care, those who were untouchable. She would ride in the van that picked people up from parks and under bridges when it was cold or raining, massage them in the van, or massage them when they got to the shelter. Her work inspired others to join her, and she now supervises a growing family of interns who offer free massages to the homeless throughout the city.
"For the untouchable, God comes in the form of touch. When Maryanne kneads her care into the unwashed shoulders of the poor, her hands feel the sadness, the woundedness, the aches embedded in their weary flesh. When she massages clients in the waiting room at the local health clinic, her 'patients' reveal far more to her than they ever do to their doctor about their inner and outer aches and pains, their experience of health and illness. They are always thankful; often there are tears. Some have never received a massage; others have not been touched, with love, in years. For them, this is heaven. For Maryanne, this is prayer."