The Power of a Hug
When my middle daughter came downstairs all bummed out about something a month or so ago, I asked her if I could have a hug. I ended up being transformed as much as she did. We sunk into each other as my chin rested on top of her head I told her that she was the best one to hug right now because I could stay in that position forever. We needed that, and since then, we regularly do it when it looks like the other might just need it.
A good hug will melt our hearts and take us into another place. A very good place. God knew this all along and wants us to see the tenderness, power, and example from His hugs, too.
"He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart..."
"And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them."
God wants us to be His arms of love. But He showed us first.
He told us how He cared for us like gathering lambs (us) in His arms and carrying them close to His heart. And when He became a man, He was finally able to show us what that looked like.
My mom always said she would quit teaching if she weren't allowed to hug her kids. I get it now. It can change a mood in a flash. It fills the tank - of the recipient and the giver, then they both just become the same.
In her book, Hug Therapy, Kathleen Keating showed us this, too.
A hug is "the power to give (and receive at the very same time!)"
I think that's why Jesus died with His arms wide open, awaiting our embrace.