I hugged my daughter yesterday for the first time in over three months. It was a long hug! We have always hugged whenever we say goodbye, and it has felt strange not being able to do that for all that time. You could say that we are a hugging family! Now that we can have a "social circle", I'm looking forward to hugging my son and his wife and our grandson when they come to spend a few days of their summer vacation with us in a couple of weeks.
It seems like such a simple thing, but hugs matter. Hugging shows someone how much we care. Hugs are good for us. A hug can make us feel so much better! We don't necessarily have to say anything. A hug says it all! According to Wikipedia:
- A hug … is a form of nonverbal communication. Depending on culture, context, and relationship, a hug can indicate familiarity, love, affection, friendship, brotherhood, or sympathy. A hug can indicate support, comfort, and consolation, particularly where words are insufficient. A hug usually demonstrates affection and emotional warmth, sometimes arising from joy or happiness when reunited with someone or seeing someone absent after a long time. … Hugging has been proven to have health benefits. One study has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin and reduce blood pressure. Based on significant research indicating that a 20-second-or-longer hug releases oxytocin, Leo Buscaglia encourages people to hug for 21 days consecutively and to have each day a hug that lasts for a minimum of 21 seconds. He recommends "getting lost in the hug", encouraging people to slow down and "use the power of the hug to be fully present in the moment".
Luke 15:20 – So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. (NLT)
We're all familiar with the story of the prodigal son. What a wonderful hug that must have been for both the father and the son!
- What Hugging Can Do
It's wondrous what a hug can do.
A hug can cheer you when you're blue
A hug can say, "I love you so,"
Or, "I hate to see you go."
A hug is "Welcome back again."
And "Great to see you! Where have you been?"
A hug can soothe a small child's pain
And bring a rainbow after rain.
The hug, there's just no doubt about it —
We scarcely could survive without it!
A hug delights and warms and charms;
It must be why God gave us arms.
– Dean Walley, The Messenger
Sometimes, we just need a hug. Sometimes, it's all that we need to make us feel better, to feel loved. So, for now, hug the people in your social circle and hopefully, someday soon, we will be able to hug those in our church families and our friends as well.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for hugs. Wrap Your loving arms around us today, reminding us that You are always there for us. Surround us with Your loving presence, reminding us that we are loved, even as we are dealing with the chaos all around us. Help us to love others as You have loved us. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell" (Lyrics)