Can We Hug Again? How Do You Hug God?


For the Huggers

Are you a hugger?

Back before COVID-19, we hugged around here. We hugged hello. We hugged good-bye.

We knew to start leaving five minutes early to allow for the rounds of hugging everybody in the room.

I’m ready to hug people again.

And we’re getting close. Among my friends and family who are now fully vaccinated (I am now!), we’re resuming our hugs.

But I want to hug God like that, too. And have him hug me back.

But I can’t.

It Feels Unfair

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?

Yet, There Is This . . .

Thirty-three years doesn’t seem long enough. I wasn’t around when Jesus walked the earth.

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 he hasn’t touched my hands. 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.

Divine in the Human

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 with praise.

And as the pandemic winds down, I’ll hug other people every time it’s safe. People I know. People I love. People who love me.

People made in his image.

We’re not out of the woods yet with covid. We still need to be cautious that our hugs won’t harm others. We need to ask permission.

But for now, hugging those we can is comforting again.

Our physical touch releases God’s divine touch.

And for now, that is enough.


Have you missed hugging other people? How have you felt God’s hugs? Let’s talk in the comments.

updated from the archives

13 thoughts on “Can We Hug Again? How Do You Hug God?

  1. Martha J Orlando

    Oh, yes, Lisa, I’ve missed hugging so very much!!! Fortunately, because we are vaccinated fully, we can hug my mom and others who are in the same boat. Physical touch does release God’s divine touch here on earth. I love how you brought that marvelous fact to our attention.

  2. Laurie

    I come from a family of huggers too. When we get together with a group of friends we have known all of our married lives, all 10 of us have to hug hello and goodbye. The last time we saw each other, we couldn’t hug. I am looking forward to all the hugs when we next get together, now that we are all vaccinated.

    Can you imagine the wonderful privilege it would have been to actually be on the receiving end of one of Jesus’ physical touches? I think one way we can help build the Kingdom of God here on earth is to do exactly what you say – release God’s divine touch with our physical touch.

  3. Lesley

    I’m not normally that much of a hugger but after so long without being able to hug I miss it more than I ever thought I would. Hopefully there won’t be too much longer to wait.

  4. Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog

    I have a confession: I’m not really a hugger. I haven’t missed hugging all that much during the pandemic…it’s been almost a relief. I feel terrible saying that. However, I do have to say that I’ve found myself excited about resuming some of those things this spring. Maybe it’s not that I don’t like hugs…maybe I just like them from those closest to me. Excuse me while I learn myself here. 😉 I love your imagery around hugging Jesus. And what you said about praising Him here being a hug. Lovely.

  5. Corinne Rodrigues

    I’m a hugger too although it’s something that’s a little alien to our culture. As my parents got older and their bodies became more fragile, I wanted to hug them more, but it just didn’t feel the same, so I know what you mean about your Dad.
    Yes, we can convey the touch of God through our hugs – the physical ones and the emotional ones – telling people that they are loved by the God of unconditional love.

  6. Jill

    This is a wonderful sentiment on how to share God’s love and love Him at the same time. Thanks for sharing-happy to ship by from Crystal’s this AM.

  7. Carlie

    Thank you for this interesting post, Lisa. I especially love the line – ‘Our physical touch releases God’s divine touch.’ It’s as if we get to hug God through the way we love others and sometimes that involves getting up close in the lives of others, close enough to offer a loving touch despite the messy busyness of life. May God help me to not be selfish and distracted but to hug Him in that way; I definitely feel His hugs on a regular basis.

  8. Jean Wise

    I really really miss hugging. It like i have to apologize then I want to hug and can’t yet. I have small card drawing of a young girl with her head in God’s lap. – That is what I imagine when hugging God. Lovely post!

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