The Hug

The month of August turned out to be a stressful one for me.  I have some personal issues going on and some challenging situations at work.  On top of that, I sprained my back at the beginning of the month and have taken much of the rest of the month to recover.  Since exercise is a big stress-reliever for me, the inability to do much has compounded the stress. 

Last week there was one night where I didn’t really get any rest.  I slept, if you want to call it that, but I was working in my sleep.  Have you ever done that?  All night long I tossed and turned, making up issues in my dreams to deal with and just wearing myself out more.  When the alarm went off that morning, I had no idea how I was going to get out of bed.  I hit snooze and laid back down for a few minutes.  I fell back asleep immediately.

In that very short span of time I had the most vivid dream:  the doorbell rang and I answered it.  There was a very tall, familiar man standing there.  I knew him immediately and was relieved to see him.  He simply asked me, What do you need?  Relieved that he wasn’t there to ask anything of me, I choked out words that surprised even me, I need a hug.  He didn’t waste a moment.  He wrapped his arms around me in a powerful, brotherly embrace and didn’t let go.  I felt every muscle in my body relax and soon realized that I wasn’t really holding myself up any more, but he was. 

Then the alarm went off again and I was awake, but I had this wonderful feeling still with me.  I got up and went about my morning, trying to figure out who that man had been.  I knew him, but I couldn’t remember his face.  Every face I tried to put to him was wrong.  Those of you who have read the book The Shack will understand this better than those who haven’t, but that’s when the thought struck me that it was Jesus.  I floated through the rest of that very difficult day, feeling like God had decided to show up on my doorstep that morning and hug me.  It’s been a beautiful memory since then.


Filed under Spiritual Life

4 responses to “The Hug

  1. Mommakisses

    This makes me think not so much of one I’ve received, but one I gave.

    When we were in college, I had several friends who would travel with a couple of different college music groups. Over the summer, they would try out for one group that traveled all summer. One of my best friends was on that group for two summers. This story happened during the second tour.

    Friends and family were given a list of churches they would be at and when they would get there. We could send mail, and sometimes talk to them on the phone. They closest they got to me was about a 4 or maybe a 5 hour drive. For me, that was close enough.

    My Grandma, brother and I piled into the car and drove to the church. We walked into the church while they were still setting up. I knew everyone on the team, so there were hugs and excited faces all over. One of the guys hugged me (he was like an older brother, and I miss him TONS as he has gone on to be with Jesus), then he went up to my best friend and didn’t say anything to her. He stood in front of her, put his hands on her shoulders, and gently turned her around to face me. I could see the weight of the summer written all over her face. I could see the shock of seeing me on her face. I could also see the comfort of seeing me on her face. There was something about someone who’s almost family taking the time to come see you. Neither of us said a word. She walked up to me and hugged me like she would never let me go. I could feel the stress leave her body. When she did let go, she had to wipe the tears from her eyes.

    I did not set out to be that comfort. I honestly didn’t know all the stress she was under at the time. I just wanted to spend a little time with my friend. But God used that visit for so much more. Amazing.

  2. thanks for sharing that dream. I have had healing dreams a few times when I was in a particularly desperate situation. They always met the need for the moment. I always consider them gifts from God.

  3. Kelly

    I’ve never been a “hugger,” or gotten much out of hugs. Maybe I’m doing something wrong???

    Is there an art to hugging?

  4. Kelly

    Yesterday, I discovered the art to hugging:

    Don’t Linger.

    (Since you’re a minister, I should probably use the word “tarry.”)

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