Hugs are one of my favorite ways to show I care about someone. I am a good and warm hugger, but sometimes my hugs are not welcome. Before I hug someone, I need to assess if they are open to one or not. Maybe they are elderly and can’t handle the physical pain it would cause them. In that case, I will probably just touch their arm softly. Sometimes, someone has been damaged emotionally or physically, and would bristle when I come toward them to hug them. I can sense that and will either just shake their hand or pat them on the shoulder.
Many times, when I hug someone warmly, they will “grab hold” and hold on for several seconds. Sometimes, they will drop their head on my shoulder and begin to cry. If someone has expressed that they are feeling lonely and isolated, then I will hug them whenever they invite me to. Hugs are one way I can “extend the arms of Jesus” to hurting people.
There are also those who stand stiff as a board when I try to hug them, so I will back away and give them the space they need. It is my way of showing them I care and want to connect with them, but I need to be sensitive as well.
Children need a lot of hugs, especially if they are living a trauma such as the divorce of their parents or the grief of losing someone they love in death. Hugs for kids usually means they are loved and safe. If a child has been traumatized or abused, a hug can be a signal of hurt or abuse, so I need to sense that and ask permission to hug them. After all, it is about them and not my own need.
Single moms, many times, invite warm hugs because they don’t get them often from an adult who cares. They work so hard to keep it altogether and many times, they live in a lonely place with very little healthy adult human touch. A back scratch, massaging their shoulders, and giving them long, comforting hugs can “fill their tanks” of loneliness. Look around for single moms you can bless with encouraging words and a hug.
This Tuesday, on Chained No More Talk Radio, will have as our guest, author and speaker, Gail Showalter, of SMORE, a national ministry for single moms. Her topic will be “Help! I’m a Single Mom!” She will tell her story of being a single mom and will give encouraging words, as well as helpful practical tools for single moms and those who love them. Don’t miss it. Tune in at 2pm ET to www.toginet.com
Need a hug? A hug is like a boomerang…you give one and it comes right back to you. Try it today!