Eight years ago, one October day, I recorded the following interaction with my eleven-year-old son, Jake:
When Jake got up this morning, he walked into the dining room and sat on my lap. He wanted his morning hug.
I remarked, “Jake, you are getting so big (he’s taller than me now). What am I going to do when I can’t hold you like this anymore?”
Jake replied, “That’s okay, Mom. When that happens, I’ll hold you.”
October 10, 2013
After reading this precious reflection, I paused and thought, “We all need one big hug, right now.”
A touch of warmth.
A cheer of affirmation.
A blessing of encouragement.
An offering of grace.
A reassurance of purpose.
A lift of comfort.
A boost of confidence.
A strength of hope.
An outpouring of generous love.
And yes, a big, I’ve-got-you-and-I’m-for-you hug.
Don’t we need a lot more of these touches, cheers, blessings, strengths, and encouragements in our lives – especially now?
They sure seem in short supply these days.
Instead of a touch of warmth, we are ignored.
Instead of a cheer of affirmation, we are criticized.
Instead of a blessing of encouragement, we are denounced.
Instead of an offering of grace, we are discounted and dismissed.
Instead of a reassurance of purpose, we are disvalued.
Instead of a lift of comfort, we are left alone.
Instead of a boost of confidence, we are distrusted.
Instead of an offering of hope, we are doubted.
Instead of an outpouring of generous love, well, what of that?
Love seems in very short supply.
Well, with the social distancing we’ve become accustomed to the past 18 months, hugs just seem to be a gift we’ve not been able to give each other – for a very, long time.
But, we need them.
A hug is a way to offer comfort, security, and assurance without uttering a single word.
A hug is a way of us experiencing a moment of “I’m here with you.”
I am here with you…
in your sadness and grief
in your pain
in your aimlessness
in your questioning
in your need
and even in times of joy, too
Shel Silverstein wrote:
“I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs. Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug. Where everyone kisses and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.”
That sounds just right.
So, what do you think?
Should we be more about giving hugs and words of affirmation and care today? Especially in these uncertain, discouraging times?
Your touch of affirmation and offering of grace may be exactly what someone close to you needs – right now.
And what of my Jake?
Well, guess what?
As I was typing this blog post, Jake came over, and looked down at me.
Do you know what he said?
“Mom, I need to give you some loves.”
And my six-foot-two-inch son bent down and wrapped me up in his arms and said, “I love you, Mom.”
Just what I needed.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
New International Version, Psalm 139:5