A hug and how it has a greater impact than you think.

Two years ago, I was in Hong Kong. I was fourteen. I really had no idea what I was doing. I only knew that God loves people, and so I love people.

I met a beautiful woman while I was there, and she showed me what it meant to surrender. I don’t know much about her life; she didn’t speak much English and I didn’t speak any Chinese. But what I did know is that she was hurting and her family was broken. Over the course of the week I spent with her, I saw her continually pour out her heart to God. When we worshipped, she wept. When we prayed, she shook heaven for answers. This woman loved the people in her life so much that it drove her to tears as she begged God for them to love him too.

On the last day that I got to spend with her, she came over to me and I hugged her. She started sobbing. I sang and prayed and let her stay in that moment, that moment of her knowing that someone had space for her to break. Forty-five minutes later, her tears were almost through and I could see calm coming to her. She later got someone to translate for her, “Before you hugged me I felt sad and heavy, but now I feel peace.”

Forty-five minutes of my time is very small for that. I often spend more than that on my phone in a day. And yet, forty-five minutes of simply being with someone can have such a huge impact. Regardless of the fact that we didn’t speak the same language, she was able to feel loved and cared for in a way which she clearly didn’t often. Nothing I did was extraordinary, I didn’t call down any fire from heaven, I didn’t fix everything going on in her life. I simply was there.

Often, love is not saying “I love you”.  Love is entering into the brokenness of the person right in front of you. 

Love is John 8, when Jesus says  to the woman caught in adultery, “I do not condemn you AND do not remain a slave to sin.” 

Love is Mark 1:40-45 when Jesus reaches out and touches a leper, someone who was cut off from society, and heals him. 

Love is a hug that says “You’re not alone. You are seen.”

And sometimes, that is enough.

How can you show love to someone through a simple act today?

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