Revive Me, Week 36– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord
Hug Like You Mean It
“Let go of whatever it was that turned you into a tentative hugger, and hug like you mean it.”
I’ve been doing too much mindless hugging lately. When my husband walks in the door, I often hug him but my mind might be elsewhere. I can be in the middle of hugging a member of my church family but my eyes will be searching for that person I need to talk to. And I don’t even want to think about how many hugs from my sons I didn’t really focus on.
A couple of things have caused me to think about this:
- The brevity of life (James 4:13-17). I’ve recently heard of a couple of sudden, unexpected deaths. I imagine their loved ones are recalling their last interactions with the departed. They probably want nothing more than to hold them one more time. When you wish you could hug someone but you can’t, you know the value of a simple hug. I also know of some who have a loved one entering hospice care. Surely every hug from now on will be more meaningful, more precious.
- The power of a good hug. I’ve been the recipient of a couple of heartfelt hugs lately, the kind that make me pause and think, “Oh, this is a real hug.” Real hugs leave me feeling bolstered and loved, as if I just received a gift. They make me smile say, “thank you!” They convince me to be more deliberate with my own hugging.
“A hug delights and warms and charms. That must be why God gave us arms.”
Non-huggers may be cringing at this post. That’s okay. You have your own form of greeting and encouraging (a hearty handshake?). The point of this Revive Me challenge is to remind us to be “all there” when we engage with others. Smile warmly, look others in the eye, and hug for real. For some, it may be just the boost they need to keep on keeping on.
Suggestions for the Week:
- Hug the stuffing out of your family members this week. Give your husband extra doses. Cherish every child-hug. And especially hug the elderly in your family.
- Determine to give up distracted greetings. Give one-on-one attention to each person you meet at worship.
- Go out of your way to hug the unhuggable (not the ones who don’t like hugs…that wouldn’t be very nice). Look for the insecure, angry, or rebellious. Help them understand God’s compassion by offering a warm hug.
- Never let a gathering go by where you don’t hug the widows and widowers. For some of them, it may be the only contact they enjoy during the week.
- Just for fun, do some research into the science of hugging to learn some of the health benefits.
Read it. Memorize it. Live it.