I’m a big believer in hugs. I’m not talking about the little taps on the shoulder that we give in the South to be socially polite, but the kind of I’ll wrap you up and squeeze you tight for more than a moment hugs. The I’ll remind you how much I care about you and how much I miss you embraces that don’t happen too often. One hug like that is a gem, two at a time is a rarity and more than that? You’re glimpsing at heaven. (Let it also be known that my physical touch love language is also off the charts high, so that might be a contributing factor!! 🙂 )
Hugs – they remind me of home, of my childhood and mostly that I am loved and cared for by so many people on this planet. But even beyond those temporal moments, they remind me that I am loved by the God of this Universe who sent us to love one another. I mean what I say when you are glimpsing at heaven.
This weekend was spent in the mountains of NC with people who have become more than just dear friends, but family. I am a small part of the Swaziland Partnership, a ministry based in Southern Africa working to bring the Gospel to the people of Eswatini. Working with the Swaziland Partnership has been more than a dream come true. It has become an unexpected calling. To be invited to the table and embraced as an outsider and a young one at that has been far more than I could have ever dreamed or desired. Swaziland has made an indelible impression on my heart, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Listening to the stories of the last 25 years of ministry combined with the passionate dreams for the future of the ministry left me seeing a glimpse of Revelation 7:9 in action.
As our time came to a close this weekend with plans solidified and dreams expressed, pictures taken and laughter shared, we spent just a moment embracing one another. Some people I haven’t seen in 2+ years, others I saw merely days ago. Regardless, the hugs and tears shared in that space will stick with me for a while as a tangible reminder of the love that God has displayed in his son Jesus. As Hannah Poe put it, “this is what heaven is going to be like.” As I spend the next few days taking some deep breaths while decompressing the emotions and processing these exceptional moments of grace, I am pointed to and reminded of the love of the Father and how He has expressed it to us in His son Jesus and through the people that point us to Him. What a gift.
If you haven’t done it in a while, go hug someone you love. Let them point you to the cross, help you dream, remind you of the Lord’s confidence in you, communicate their love and care for you, whatever you need. It’s a glimpse at heaven.