Our grandson Tucker lives in North Carolina, and he is definitely a “full-of-life” kind of boy. Last weekend, we went to visit Sarah and Tucker. Upon arrival we found a very sick little boy. Normally when we arrive, Tucker runs to us, with a huge smile and arms outstretched for a hug. Not that day!
As we entered the house, Tucker was right up next to his mom where he had been all day. He was running a fever and was obviously sick. We knelt down to talk to him, and all he would say through tears was, “Mommy, hold me! Mommy, hold me!” We tried to talk with him, but he wasn’t interested in our words. Again he said, “Mommy, hold me!” It didn’t take long to realize that Tucker did not need our words; he needed comfort for his pain. He just needed a loving embrace.
By nature many of us are “fixers.” We think we have to say just the right thing, or we need words that sound spiritual, or words to cause a painful situation make sense. We want to make everything okay. Sometimes we need to realize that people just need a hug. They just need the comfort of our presence.
This week we will all encounter people in pain. There will pain of loss, pain of divorce, pain of depression, pain of disappointment, pain of loneliness, pain of fear and many other kinds of pain. We can’t always fix it. We certainly can’t always have just the right words to bring understanding, but we do have the gift of a hug.
A hug could be the exact thing needed by someone whose path you cross today. Without even knowing it, you could be changing the life of that person. They could be having the worst day possible, or facing painful situations for which you will not have the right words. You can possibly change the day, the week, the month or the life of another person simply by giving a hug.
Sometimes, like Tucker, people are just saying, “I just want someone to hold me, to give me the ministry of their presence.”
What’s the best part about it? Hugs are free and they can be given anytime.
Who will you hug today?
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted …” – Ephesians 4:32a