1 Thessalonians 5:11 (International Children’s Bible)
At the end of our Zoom Sunday School class this past week, Gabby called through the screen with her arms wide open, “I want to come right through that screen and hug every single one of you. I miss you!” I began to realize how much I missed hugs from my young friends. This social distancing is hard for us huggers.
I am grateful that my husband and I can hug each other, but I ache for a potpourri of hugs. When my daughter was hospitalized out of state a few weeks ago, I craved a reassuring hug from my father and stepmother who live only two miles down the road. My mother’s heart wants to fly to Maryland so that I can give my daughter a comforting hug. When I see one of my neighbors outside, my first instinct is to give them an “it’s SO good to see you” hug.
Hugs are reassuring, comforting, and calming. Hugs mean you are not alone. Hugs just help make us feel like everything is okay.
Until that day when we can hug each other without reservation, people across the globe are finding playful ways to feel the power of hugs. Facebook has added a new hug emoji that’s holding a heart. In Iceland, the forestry service has recommended Icelanders hug a tree once a day for five minutes. People are putting bears in windows, sending bear hugs to passers-by. And a woman in Louisiana was so desperate to give her parents a hug that she invented a sanitized Hug Me Curtain.
While our own hugging has been temporarily suspended, God has never stopped giving us hugs from heaven. Every day we can open the Bible to find verse after verse of God’s unfailing love and comfort. In this beautiful paradise in which we live, we can consider ourselves hugged by the blue skies, singing birds, and green, swaying palm trees. Don’t forget that you can give yourself a hug! Squeeze yourself tight. Wrap yourself in a warm blanket. You are loved!
Director of Children’s Ministry
For people who live alone, we pray:
God of Comfort, be close to those who are sad, sick, or alone. Be their comfort and hope. Please wrap your arms around them. Please let them know how much you love them. Amen.
Children’s Activity Suggestions
- Create a Hug in a Box. Let someone know that you care by filling a box with things that might comfort them. A handmade heart, some chocolate candy, a candle, a Bible verse, a mug, some homemade cookies. Add anything that you think will brighten their day.
- Go hug a tree, or two! While you are hugging the tree, ask God to comfort people who are lonely.
- Do a Google search for Bible verses about comfort. Choose one that you like and try to memorize it.