~Dedicated to Claudia and Donna Mae~
Due to the pandemic, my family and I stopped hugging others. My kids blew kisses to their grandma and many aunties and uncles. We kept our 6 feet distance and wore cloth masks. We didn’t spend much time together when there were physical visits. Many sheltered in place very seriously and we didn’t see them at all. Amazingly, we adjusted.. or so I thought.
Social distancing has worked to flatten the curve. We accepted new mandates are made to supposedly protect us. We are to be obedient to leadership and rules of the lands. I do also see sides of not wearing masks. There are views on building immunities. Lots of people will play it safe until there’s a vaccine, others don’t believe in vaccines.
This blog is not written to begin a debate. Jesus has called us to be Peacemakers. I am sharing with you today because of a barrier that came down.. within my heart. One that I’d not known was even up. While I am sooo grateful to hug and kiss my husband and children each and every day.. I am incredibly blessed to have them close.. and vibrantly healthy. And so, I did not realize just how much hugs from others can mean.
We recently got together with church family. I had seen some of them during the covid outbreak, but we always wore masks and kept our physical distance. The virus count has been few to zero each day here in Hawaii. And this time, most of us were not wearing masks. We were gathered to surprise our beloved graduate. It was amazing to see how much others love and support him. We were soo excited and overjoyed for him. How wonderful to have his own parade to celebrate. It was his special day. Unknowingly, it became a personally special day for me as well.
My friend Claudia is a very dear sister in Christ. Our families love each other so much and have a tight-knit bond. I look up to her in many ways. When we saw each other, we were filled with so much joy. She asked me, “Can I hug you?” My heart broke as I began sharing that I hadn’t hugged anyone outside of my household in months. Claudia said, “Me too! But, I’m not sick.. and I haven’t been around people. My hands are clean, I just washed them.” I then hugged her.
It was like Jesus was hugging with us so gently yet powerfully.. As if He was squeezing our hearts together to be one with His heart. There was so much overwhelming light of our Lord and His tenderness. We hugged a little tighter and longer. My heart bursted with new and refreshed love.
What normally would’ve been a few seconds long and taken for granted.. was transformed into many seconds and very deeply treasured. I felt as if healing had pierced my heart, where I didn’t know I had even needed healing. I held my hand over my melted heart. We expressed how meaningful and beautiful it was to share a truly loving sister hug..
Never again will I take hugs for granted. Hugs have now become ~ sacred.
Shortly after that, I saw Donna Mae, whom is a precious spiritual mommy to me. So much heavenly treasures that I’ve found through her heart. She came up to me and said, “Hi Mel.” She naturally reached to hug me. I said, “Wow, okay. You are the second person that I am hugging and wow, hugging is healing.” She shared how much we need touch. I was filled with a spirit of intimate connection once again. I wasn’t alone in secretly dying inside by not being free to hug those I love. Just looking into Donna Mae’s eyes, I remembered ~ There is such a deep love that people in Jesus have for one another. I also saw her confidence in Him.. strength.. and trust.. God is all-powerful and all-loving..
I did not hug anyone else after this and don’t plan to dash to everyone I love and hug them. But I’ve learned that someone who wants to hug you may be taking a risk and love always involves risks. Someone who wants to hug you.. very likely trusts you a lot.. and loves you much.. It is a different time right now. Respect their hearts and may they respect yours. Some need consent, others do not. You do not have to hug or you may hug.. We must exercise good discernment and caution. Always go with the spirit. Where the spirit of the Lord is.. there is freedom.. healing.. wisdom.. protection.. and love..
Research shows how social distancing works to keep us healthier. There is also research that shows how hugging is good for our health. Physical touch may be your love language. Whatever we choose, always choose to show affectionate love. It can be in a letter, by helping someone, praying, having hot chocolate over Zoom.. or a hug. May we honor one another in all our different ways of loving.
I am blessed to have received those two hugs. In my first hug, it was a breakthrough for my heart. I learned just how dearly I love to hug others whom I love. How embracing one another is now a rare gift in friendship. And my second hug, I gained wisdom on how touch truly is important.
Nowadays, there is more technology and less touching. I choose to be open to different ways of bonding as a family and people of God.. In our home, we always welcome video chats each and every day. As the virus count here in Hawaii has been barely any, I’ve decided ~ If someone dear to us is healthy and needs prayer.. I will hold their hands and pray, if they would like to. I will remember to wash my hands. But I’m not going to run dramatically to a sink as fast as I can.
Naturally a germaphobe.. I was a preschool teacher for 12 years. Now a protective mother of kids ages 4 and 2. My beloved friend and former students parent is my kids’ pediatrician.. I care lots about preventive health care. I also care lots about living life.
Some will say that not hugging saves lives, others will say it does save lives. Here’s the good news that I’m sure of ~ If you’re a believer.. Jesus has already saved our lives. We are ultimately saved because of His life that He gave for us. I pray that we make decisions as best as we can in His saving grace.
This story was birthed from two reunion hugs. These hugs are cherished and prized, hidden in my heart. Hugs with a message of healing.. revelation.. and such immeasurable grace. Right now in this moment, I am hugging you in my prayers and heart. God bless you abundantly, beloved friend. Our Jesus is compassionate and full of cheer for you. May He hug you in His heavenly love ~ closer and more tenderly than ever. Lord God redeem your children by Your hug. Amen.