A little over a month ago in a birthday dinner, I met the wife of one of the guys in our village tennis club. As I said my goodbyes that night, this sweet lady gets up, tells me it was nice meeting me and then wraps her arms around me to give me a really big hug. As I left the party, I realized how nice it was to get a hug. And her hug I felt, had so much warmth and love despite only meeting that evening. As i prepared for bed that night, it got me thinking that -- 1) A hug can instantly brighten your day 2) A hug speaks a thousand words 3) Hugs are not given as much as they should.
Filipinos in general i think are not huggers. We aren't touchy people. Filipinos brush cheeks with each other when they greet and hugs are not part of our culture. When I was living in the States in my pre-teen years tho, everyone in school hugged each other. It was a way to say hello and express friendship. In my mother's side of the family, (who all live and grew up in the states) we all give each other a big hug when we see each other. In fact, hugging cousins and aunts and uncles were something my husband had to get used to in our family.
In good faith, hugs mean hello, nice to see you, thank you, see you soon etc.. In the lonely and sad times tho, a hug can mean so much more. It can say a whole lot more than words can express. It says I love you, I am here for you, I feel you, I am praying for you, I understand, I care about you, and I may not have the words to express what's in my heart, but know that I am thinking of you and beside you in your struggle.
In our dark, confusing and sad moments with Sabina, the times I felt great encouragement were when friends and family just gave a big hug, an arm over my shoulder and held my hand. No words needed to be said, but were all spoken through a simple touch. Sometimes, for us moms in our own special situations, a hug is all we need to get us going, and nothing more.
Thank you Lord for the gift of hugs and the friends and family who have given them along the way. :)
Isaiah 40:11a "He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to His heart."