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
- On the Blog—April 2021
- 6 Tips to Make Life Easier