From The Storyteller
Aug. 12, 2019, Hugs
Elaine: “Hugs really do remove the chinks”. Me: “What’s a “chink”? Elaine: “Something that like a small crack”. Enlightenment, after a great early morning hug.
As a pastor I learned about five different kinds of hugs. Most people know the full on, gentle bear hug (like the one Elaine and I share). They’re usually great for spouses, parents, kids, grandkids, some relatives, and a few very close friends. The not-so-gentle bear hug is often reserved for young grandkids.
Beyond this select group of individuals, however, pastors wisely shift to one of three alternate hugging types. There’s the side hug for folks who are arm touch huggers; the hand hug for the non-arm touch huggers; and the three foot away hug for those who don’t do touching well. All five types of hugs require permission because, when hugging happens, something special passes between two people.
Hugs act like a sort of a love putty that can fill those small cracks in our lives when we feel uncomfortable. It fills a small crack in a ten year old boy who simply says, “Mom, I need a hug”. It fills a tiny crack in a young girl calling for her bedtime hug. There are birthday hugs, I missed you hugs, the skinned knee hugs, and the “I’m so sorry for your loss” hugs; each filling places only love can fill.
Back to removing chinks. As I write this I’m technically sad, which is not the same as being emotionally sad. Elaine’s summer teaching break ended today. We’ve had a great summer “doing” and “not doing”. I like playing with her, and now our play time’s going to be limited; thus technically sad. This morning’s hug filled my “I’ll miss you while you’re at work today” chink.
Moral: Sharing hugs is sharing love.