…Because You Cannot Put Your Arms Around A Memory!
Who would have known that the feared and ferocious lion who roams around looking for someone to devour would have a tender, gentler side enough to extend an embrace (hug) with his cub. Hugs are not dangerous, though. Hugs offer safety while developing trust that can only be delivered through God’s Love.
I was blessed to be a recipient of God’s Great Love that permeated all the way through from a hug. This hug somehow or another wrapped itself tightly around my tender heart last week. My pastor’s gentle, yet firm, unrushed hug revealed the distance between our two hearts… NONE!!! She may be a tiny thing, but her love was a supernatural outpour!
Amazingly, she loves and engages with every single member of our congregation. You won’t find our pastors running from their flock and responsibility because Janice and Doug Bird’s leadership style and devotion is why I call Abundant Life Fellowship my home. Now that I am firmly planted, I have room to bloom and grow!
Hugs Reveal The Distance Between Two Hearts…
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Coming from a person who hugs ALL THE TIME, I have never received such a deep hug that wrapped itself all the way around my tender heart from just a simple hug. It was beautiful and it forever bonded my heart to hers. Knowing I was physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, I felt God’s love and touch through Janice’s beautiful outreach which revealed two like-minded hearts.
I feel blessed when I get to share the love of my Lord and my heart through a smile, a hug, a listening ear, some time and engagement. I’m not always gentle and nice either. Cross me a few times and I admit, my claws become hyper-extended and I’m ready to ponce and go for the jugular. You too?
I’m undeniably a big hugger and I believe we need more love expressed through this simple act that offers free treatment for many ailments in today’s society. Unless it’s in a strictly professional environment, like a courtroom setting, I will extend a hug rather than a handshake any day. But even then…
Last week I was initially perplexed by the Girl Scouts announcement issuing a warning to parents cautioning them “not to force their daughters” to give family members a hug or kiss this holiday season as a token of gratitude. Though, I do support and value this encouragement in hopes it will open communication.
Initially, being a h-u-g-g-e-r, I was appalled through my own confusion in understanding their recommendation. With sexual harassment and consent being heightened, this advisal was a nudge to help parents navigate through social settings within the family dynamics regarding affection. This directive was merely suggesting that the girls not be “pushed” or “forced” to hug as a token of payment for gratitude and/or appreciation.
Honestly, this would have been a helpful tool for me knowing that a simple “thank you” or a “high five” was all that was necessary or “owed” in being polite and respectful. Not the entitlement that my body belonged as payment for acknowledgement of familial status and/or gratitude.
Being a beloved with an uncle whose hands resembled more like worms squirming through dirt, I am grateful for this awareness about physical affection and consent in familial gatherings. This will help us teach our children tools that will equip them with boundaries and authority later in life.
This knowledge would have empowered me with courage to stand up and say “no” with authority and made sure it wasn’t swept underneath the rug and treated as acceptable behavior.
The Girl Scouts is offering guidance for these highly sensitive matters and it will equip these precious girls with developmental tools they will need to enhance their beautiful character, to be courageous, brave and confident in deciding what is appropriate with their own bodies.
Most children love to hug naturally. This was an encouragement to allow these girls the freedom to decide whether or not to hug and be comfortable while not “expecting” or “forcing” them to oblige.
Hugs Offer Powerful Healing
But… Hugs offered freely through love towards another beloved offer proven healing and blessings that only take 20 seconds and are priceless and free. We cannot lose sight of these miraculous benefits.
It has been shown that hugs release the powerful oxytocin hormone which is known to heal loneliness and dispel anger while providing feelings of trust and safety through social bonding. Hugs increase the serotonin levels which create happiness. Hugs strengthen the immune system, boots self-esteem, and they even balance out the nervous system.
Sounds like a powerful drug-free antidepressant or even Xanax and Valium diffuser, maybe?
After all, if we’re to greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:20), that means to embrace one another with love, and a hug is a perfect way to mirror that conduct.
Hugs Are Way Better Than Drugs
I’m praying for those who feel rejected or lonely. I’ve been there! Hugs are way better than drugs. Hugs offer lasting love, acceptance and healing powers. Hug someone today because you cannot put your arms around a memory.
I am praying 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 over all of us, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts…”
Until next time…