Are you a hugger?
We are around here. We hug hello. We hug good-bye.
We know to start leaving five minutes early to allow for the rounds of hugging everybody in the room.
I want to hug God like that. And have him hug me back.
But I can’t.
Before my dad got sick, each time I’d say good-bye he would get out of his chair, give me a hug, and kiss me on the cheek.
But that changed.
Once cancer took over, even standing up became too laborious for him. So I’d go to him and lean over his recliner. He’d give me a hug as best he could. I’d hug him back and kiss his forehead.
“I love you, Daddy.”
He’d always say back, “I love you, too, Sweetheart.”
Not so with Father God.
Sometimes I resent that I can’t touch him with my hands. I can’t hear him with my ears. I can’t see him with my eyes.
Sometimes I even dare to pout, “Unfair.”
- I want to feel Jesus’s cheek with the back of my fingers.
- I want to crumple to my knees and my tears bathe his feet.
- I want to grab his hand during the scary scenes of life.
But I can’t.
What was he thinking, leaving us here without his physical presence?
Thirty-three years doesn’t seem long enough. I wasn’t around then.
Back then, Jesus touched with his hands.
- He hugged little children.
- He handled the sick.
- He touched blind eyes, put fingers in deaf ears, even handled mute tongues.
But not mine. Not literally. Not now, anyway.
Yet, there is this:
I live in the unshakable Kingdom in a way that those in Jesus’ time did not (Hebrews 12:28).
What I have goes even deeper than touch. Higher than sound. Wider than vision (Ephesians 3:18-19).
- I live in the spiritual presence of the living God (Hebrews 12:22-24).
- I am covered with the spiritual blood of the spotless Lamb.
- I am filled with the Holiest of Spirit there ever could be.
Do I still want to give God a hug? Yes.
But until I can, I’ll do this instead:
- I’ll hug him with my songs.
- I’ll hug him with prayers.
- I’ll hug him through giving thanks.
And I’ll hug other people. People I love. People who love me. And people who just need a hug.
Is that enough?
Yes, more than enough.
* * *
When have you felt God’s hug? How do you express your love to him? Let’s talk in the comments.
revised from the archives
- Unfinished business?
- You must read this one – “Just Mercy”