5 HUGS, 2 children, 3 adults (1 husband, 2 new church friends)
I always get nervous about hugging during church. I don’t know why. It seems like it should be the easiest place to do it. Anyway, after dropping my son off at the children’s area, I found myself seated between a middle aged man and woman who were both at church by themselves. As the service began, I noticed that the woman next to me had her legs crossed and her arms crossed over her body. If that isn’t body language that screams I want nothing to do with anyone, than I don’t know what is. As the service continued the woman had contagious laughter that she freely used throughout. Perhaps I was wrong about her? Finally, the service was ending and we held hands as we sang Let There Be Peace On Earth. Well, I was feeling overwhelmed with love after this and couldn’t wait to share it. The love felt like a general consensus among all of us churchgoers, so I didn’t even ask for permission. The gentleman was so receptive and grateful. I then turned to the woman. When I reached out my arms she seemed a little taken aback. I guess I should have just stuck with my first impression. I forced the hug on her and wished her a great weekend. I hope that I did not offend her. I hope instead that I made her stop and think that perhaps a hug was just what she needed.
Last week it was brought to my attention one of the greatest things about hugs. It forces people to STOP and live in the moment. I have noticed that even with those that are not receptive to my hugs. When I ask for a hug, rather than go through the motions of what is expected of them during our interaction, they literally stop. They are taken out of their momentum of living for the next interaction or expectation and are brought to the here and now. Here I am standing in front of you now asking for a hug. Wait, what? Regardless of their response each one has taken pause and considered my request. A new moment has been created for them. One that can create change if they allow it.
Please accept this blog as my virtual hug to you.