Whenever my grandchildren come to visit, they know they will get this emphatic question from me when they enter my home: “Where are my grandma hugs?!” If you are a grandparent, you know how special it is to be on the receiving end of hugs from your grandchildren, especially when there is no asking, and they just offer hugs freely and sincerely with love.

In our COVID culture today, hugs are not encouraged. In fact, hugging is discouraged. Yet, I suggest that lots of “hugging” has been occurring in different ways—through prayer, phone calls or texts, messages on cards, groceries purchased, meals prepared and delivered, tagged Facebook posts, Messenger messages, caregiving in different ways, and more. The physical “touch” of hugging is missing, but the love is felt.

Our Lord never physically hugged anyone reading this post. Yet, He has hugged each one of us in so many ways, freely and sincerely with His love.

Have you felt His hugs–

–As He left the Father to come to this earth as a baby, subject to the physical frailties of being human.

–As He started on the path to following His Father’s Will at age 12 with the scribes in the Temple.

–As He sought moments of solitude from the crowds who came to be healed by Him–yet returned to meet their needs.

–As He appealed to His Father in the Garden to take this cup from Him, weeping tears as of blood, His agony so great—yet obedient to God’s Will, not His, for us all.

–As He faced Pilate and stood silent. As He took the punishment, the torture, the mockery.

–As nails were pounded into His hands and feet and a crown of thorns was pushed into His scalp.

–As He hung by nails on a cross where He struggled to breathe and dealt with excruciating pain.

–As He called out to His Father, asking to forgive for “they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

–As He told the thief on the cross that He would be with Him in Paradise that day. (Luke 23:43) The promise is real. We each have the opportunity for redemption. Paradise is the place where Jesus is.

–As He cried out to the Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) The wrenching cry of the Son to the Father as the Son took on the sins of mankind, alone and separated from the Father. He chose the cross.

–As He said to the Father, “It is finished.” The Will of God, His Father, was fully obeyed and completed that we all might be saved. (John 19:30)

Jesus gives reassurance to His disciples and to us: “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”  (John 14:1-3)

The HUG: “I will come again and take you to Myself.”

HUGS across time, throughout all time, from our Lord and Savior. And we can feel them in our hearts every moment until He comes again.

How will we return His hugs while we wait for that day?

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/14/21)  Meditations on God’s Word