I’m a hugger by nature. Covid just about destroyed me. I think it did that for many; we all need the comforting touch of other people to remind us that we matter. When we were isolated, needing to stay away from those we loved, bubbling with only a selected number of people, it was an emotional silo. Protecting us from the possibility of infection but denying our need for connection.
A dear friend at work reminded me the other day that, to maintain emotional health, we need to be hugged ten to twelve times a day. Not just quick squeezes on the shoulder or a thrown arm around a shoulder, but a seconds-long hug.
Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it?
Children seem to better understand the need for hugs. I watch babies reach for their parents, longing to be held and hugged. Small children sidle next to their moms and dads to feel connected as they hug a leg. As we get older, we hug to remind one another that we care.
Jesus never held back from embracing and reaching out to people who needed Him. His touch healed many; His embrace was one of comfort and calm. People began following Him, believing that just by touching Him or even His cloak they’d be healed.
And they were.
Once He and His men were leaving Jericho and passed two blind men on the road, who, upon hearing it was Jesus that passed, shouted for Him to have mercy on them.
Jesus asked the question He asks each of us, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
“Lord,” they said, “we want to see!” Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed Him.” Matthew 20:32-34
We long for the closeness of those who can provide us with the security and confidence of their love. Hugs provide heart warmth.
Jesus offers to give us so much more than temporary encouragement; He provides hope, love, forgiveness, touching our hearts with healing and wholeness.
He hugs our hearts with His own. A hug that ushers us into an eternal relationship with Him.
What would you want Him to do for you?
Are you ready for that hug?
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