A Warm Embrace

He walked around giving everyone a hug & I saw that he would soon head my way.  We had just finished praying over our time during the Homeless Outreach for One Encounter.  As he walked up to me, I told him how I had wanted a hug from him.  Not a one arm hug but a two-arm full embrace squeeze hug. As I held Eddie, he began to cry & I told him that God loved him so much. I told him I would be praying for him from that point on and I do.

There have been many times in my life where I needed a hug. I didn’t realize how important a true embrace was until my son spent his first summer away in 2013. I didn’t grow up in a house where we hugged often. If I did receive a hug, it was usually from extended family during a visit. We did not have the Full House (90’s TV show) “thang” going on in my house. On Full House it seemed as if they hugged about everything; what a warm and comforting thought. If someone stubbed their toe; they’d hug. If someone made a joke; they’d hug. If someone ate an apple; they hugged.

My son hugs me often. I can honestly say he hugs me about once a day & because of that, it has become my normal. However, when he left for the summer, I felt incredibly lonely. I longed for his presence. I especially longed for his hugs. I didn’t realize that his hugs sometimes carried me through my day or helped parts of my hard day melt away. During those times when I felt lonely, I wept. If I was attending church, I’d get excited over the thought of knowing that during service I’d get a hug; the holy sanctified church hugs of course. The ones where you get a one arm embrace or cheek to cheek tap. Yet, every now & then I would get a real hug, a needed hug, a hug that I felt came down right from heaven.

Luke 6:31 says “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.” Which has translated into the saying, “Treat people like you want to be treated.” As I’ve grown, I realize that treating people the way I want to be treated works best when you treat people the way they need to be treated. You can even contribute the craze of people investing in learning their Love Language with healthier relationships being built. Learning you or your spouse’s love language can allow you to see best how you & your spouse receive love.

I try to give love with the love the Lord has placed in me. As small as it may seem; one of the ways I do this is through a hug. Not a watered down, I don’t want to touch you hug, but a “The Lord loves you” hug.  It reminds me of a time a few years ago when I was in church with a broken heart. My heart was so broken that as soon as the praise & worship went forth, so did my tears. I couldn’t stop crying. As I wept, member after member passed me smiling. No shade to them as I was known to cry during service. Yet, my heart ached & I just wanted a hug. I wanted someone to walk over & say,” Are you ok?” but no one did. I needed an embrace, but the embrace didn’t come that day.

Eddie praying over the One Encounter Volunteers

A hug. It’s simple, yet, it’s powerful. While #DyingDaily, I realize how the Lord allows us to impact others in moments, no matter how brief or seemingly insignificant they may seem on the surface. Eddie went around giving everyone a hug & I eagerly awaited my turn. While he prayed over the volunteers, my heart felt how sincere he was in wanting to be delivered of alcoholism. Don’t let a moment when you can give God’s love pass you by. Allow God to use you as His vessel to comfort, console & counsel others.  Treat people the way you want to be treated is treating people the best way God wants them to be loved.

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