We’re huggers around here. We hug hello. We hug good-bye.
When it’s time to get up and leave, start five minutes early so you can make the rounds to hug everybody in the room.
It’s what we do; it’s who we are.
I want to hug God like that.
But I can’t.
Each time I say good-bye to my dad, he gets out of his chair, I give him a hug, he gives me a hug, and he kisses me on the cheek.
Well, until now.
Now, standing up is often too laborious for him. So I come to him and lean over his recliner. He gives me a hug as best he can. I put my hand on his cheek, and kiss his forehead.
And say, “I love you, Daddy.”
He always says back, “I love you, too, Sweetheart.”
* * *
Not so with Father.
Sometimes I think it’s not enough that I can’t touch him with my hands.
Sometimes I even dare to say, “Unfair.”
I want to feel Jesus’s cheek with the back of my fingers.
I want to crumple to my knees and let my tears bathe his feet.
I want to grab his hand when I’m forced to watch the scary scenes of life.
But I can’t.
What was he thinking, leaving us here without his physical presence?
Thirty-three years couldn’t have been long enough. *I* wasn’t even around then.
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 not mine. Not literally, anyway. I know I can still hug others, and be hugged by others. I need to give those hugs; I need to receive those hugs.
But with my Lord? It’s not to be. At least not now.
So here’s the clincher:
This kingdom I do live in is MUCH better than touch.
It goes deeper, higher, wider (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Because it isn’t filled with touch, it also isn’t filled with darkness and tempests and scary trumpet sounds and voices that have hearers begging, even Moses himself, “No more!” (Hebrews 12:18-21).
More than enough.
I am grateful to receive this kingdom that cannot be touched or shaken (Hebrews 12:28).
Not even by the evil one himself (1 John 5:18).
* * *
But can I still be a hugger?
I hug the Lord with my heart.
- I hug him with songs.
I sing to him when my heart is overflowing with gratitude,
and I sing to him when my heart is drowning in tears.
- I hug him with prayers.
I tell him about my day and ask for his advice and say, “I love you!” over and over.
- I hug him with thanksgiving.
I thank him for the little gifts he scatters through my day.
And for the mega-super-sized gift of fellowship in his presence.
Does he feel my hugs?
Yes, he does.
Heart-hugs are stronger than hand-hugs.
So with God, especially with God, be a hugger.
* * *
What ways have you found to hug God? Please share.
And pray for Ann and her family at Ann’s blog. Next week she’ll continue with more “How to Love Like Jesus.”