Let’s talk hugs.
I visited a church one weekend with my husband, and met this beautiful gal who greeted me at the door with the sweetest smiling face. Her skin was the color of Africa, and that may be why I liked her all the more, but her smile and warmth could be felt as equally as far away as her country of origin. “Thank you,” were the only two words I spoke to her as she gave me that rich warm greeting and held my door open. I turned back and added, “You are so pretty!” Which is about the only thing I know to say when my heart is feeling full, and I want to tell someone that I appreciate them more than this fleeting moment. She stopped and did something entirely unexpected from this rich-smile-warm-heart door greeting lady, she hugged me. She pulled me in and gave me a precious, loving-kindness kind of hug. Her hug was this melting embrace, that pulled me in like a milkshake on a hot Sunday afternoon. It was a rare moment, one that I’ve never felt with a complete door-lady stranger before. I felt God’s embrace. I felt His love. I felt his face upon my face, his hands upon my shoulders. I’ve never been “given” a hug quite like this before. Especially from someone whom I had only spent a few seconds with. That was a tender GIFT that she freely GAVE. And now I understand what it means, “my cup runneth over.” When you find your gift, it spills over, from a place of overflow, not a place of I have to or need to, but I’d Love to!
I’m a hugger. An unrelenting, unashamed, unabashed…hugger. Yes, if you know me, you know you are going to “get” a hug. My friends, my work-mates, my church-mates, the little kids down the street, the ones I meet in the grocery store, even my bosses…”Oh You’re Getting a hug!” Cause ya’ll, I love hugs!
But there are those who are the “others” of huggers.
You know the ones… Like, you go low and I’ll go high, yet some how one of us ends up kissing the other in the eyeball! Awkward! Or that one guy who lingers a little to long with the ladies, who really needs to learn the Jon Acuff method. They are like the “getters” who love to get hugged, and their mission is to find you and squeeze your neck off. And you have to sleep on a heating pad to recover from the encounter. It’s all just so awkward. And draining.
I realized when I met the gal with the “gift of hugging” that it’s truly a gift. I felt like I had “received” a hug, nothing in return, nothing expected. No sorrow left on my shoulder. No tears for me to ponder as I walked away. I left feeling like my burdens had been exchanged for joy. My encounter shifted something away from my shoulders and onto the Lords, in some kind of great hug-exchange. As I drove home later that night, for the first time in my life I realized the true difference, and that some are “hug givers” and some are “hug getters.”
I want to be a life-giver, not a life-getter! “Lord, help me to be more like you to console those in my circle, to be life to those in need, to give Hope, and to leave an exchange of your goodness on every shoulder that I meet.”