A Simple Hug

July 7, 2020
by   —   Audio controls are below the devotional to listen to this devotional or to hymn music while you read

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.


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About the author:

Dee Renaud <dee.renaud@outlook.com>
Sauble Beach, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true, Dee.


    Thanks, Dee. I’m a hugger and am glad to know it’s beneficial.


    Love this. So true. We can all relate in this time of pandemic. Thanks for sharing.


    We’re huggers, too. Praying this pandemic passes so we can hug each other again. Thank you for this very appropriate devotional. Blessings.


    This is exactly right! Thank you. How we have missed hugs. I hadn’t heard about the time of a hug, but I’ll give it a try. Sending long distance hugs your way.


    Hi Dee. what a thoughtful and beautiful message. Thank you. That hug must have, as the song, “… felt the earth move under my feet”. What a glorious summer.


    Thank you for your email Devotional. I’m not a hugger, per say, but I frequently feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. This age of COVID 19, is a bit crazy at times.
    God love ya!!


    Dear Dee,
    I am glad you got to hug your daughter and will be able to hug more of your family soon. Thank you for the encouraging email and reminding us of the importance of physical touch. May many blessings come your way.


    Dee: Thank you for your message today on hugs. I come from a long line of huggers so am thankful that my husband and our son are here with me. Lots of hugs to help us get through this challenging time. I pray for those who do not have this support. Stay safe.


    Dear Dee,
    Thank you for today’s devotional. I pray for God’s mercy and grace on mankind.
    Hugging you from a distance.
    Blessings.


    Dear Dee,
    Happy Tuesday!
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful devotion today.
    A hug indeed brings healing and comfort. How much we take for granted!
    Beautiful reminder!!
    Keep cool and stay safe.


    Dear Dee,
    I just wanted to let you know how I so loved your Devotional today. It was the perfect one for me at this time, missing hugs. I really felt blessed by your words today. I have even printed it off so I can read it often and be reminded often of the Joy of Hugs.
    Blessings to you,
    (Ontario)


    Thanks for this marvelous devotional on hugs. I come from a “hugging family”, my husband, not. But he didn’t take long to adopt the habit and now states that it’s what he’s missed most during the days of “social distancing”.
    I have grown fond of your writings and know that you are using your gift for God’s glory. Bless you for listening to Him and passing on the wisdom and comfort He gives.
    (BC Canada)


    I can really relate to you, Dee. My son lives in a group home for developmentally challenged people. Like you and your family we are a hugging family, and that is what we have missed the most. I finally got to hug him last week, and oh what a hug it was! May God give us an answer to this terrible pandemic soon so that we can all hug again.
    Blessings on you.


    Greetings Dee,
    What a beautiful devotional! Hugs are truly “good medicine” in our daily life and have amazing effects. During this “social distancing” time it is so painful having to restrain from hugging, especially the little children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many others. May our loving Lord guide researchers to soon find a vaccine to eliminate this virus and we can get back to closer contact with each other.
    Blessings for your special writing.
    (B.C.)


    Oh Dee, I totally agree with you (and of course Leo B.) about the value of hugs (and necessity)! When my husband used to hug me, he’d tell me: “I just love the feeling of all the tension just seeming to drain from you when I hold you in a hug”. When he died unexpectedly and I was then ‘stranded’, a young fellow at the hotel Reception area came out from his ‘post’ every time I entered the lobby and gave me what I refer to as a “hold on healing hug”! I think that’s what Leo was meaning by the 21 seconds! What a blessing those hugs were!! I have now joined a social circle with my son and his daughters. When the teen came rushing towards me with a hold-on hug, all I could do was hug back and cry! 3+ months without a hug was so long!


    Thank you, Dee.
    I always appreciate your devotionals and today’s really touched my heart.
    I, too, am a hugger and a big fan of Leo Buscaglia.
    These days the only person I can hug physically as my husband, so I give lots of “air hugs”. It’s simple, feels good, and is sometimes quite fun as well.
    Maintaining the required distance, I smile at the intended “hugee” and say either, “You’ve been hugged!” or “Consider yourself hugged!”
    Either gets returning smile and I usually get “air hugged” back.
    Thanks again, Dee, for all your devotionals. I look forward to the future ones.
    Blessings,
    (ON)


    Good morning Dee
    Loved this devotional. I am a hugger also and it was hard not to be able to hug loved ones for sure. It was like a little dagger piercing my heart each time. I think that is one of the reasons I was really starting to feel depressed, that was the only thing that had changed. But God is faithful, and He helped me through it, I asked Him this day I was really feeling down, for some humor. I really need some humor Lord and He arranged it all and He answered my prayer.
    Where would we ever be without God? We don’t go through the storm alone and it is so true today.
    Thanks again for this.
    God bless,
    Sending hugs.


    Hello Dee
    Your Daily Devotional is/Was Amazing.


    What a lovely thought.
    If there is no one available present to offer a hug, I sometimes imagine Jesus doing so.

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