Give Someone a Hug!

I recently read an AARP magazine article (I’m getting old) about how some people feel depressed during the holidays. Their answer or a least one answer was to “Hug a loved one.” They go on to say that, “Scientists have found that hugging releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, while also decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.” With a little more research I find that hugging helps prevent colds and lowers blood pressure. Pretty amazing!

The scriptures don’t say anything about oxytocin, but we do have records of some powerful hugs, especially in the book of Genesis.

  • We find Esau hugging Jacob when he returned home after many years (I’m sure Jacob was greatly relieved because Esau could have been very angry).
  • With great joy and tears Joseph hugged his younger brother Benjamin when they were finally reunited.
  • Joseph also wept as he threw his arms around his aging father, Jacob.
  • In the New Testament Paul and the elders at Ephesus experienced the power of the embrace as they parted for the last time.
  • And finally I can only imagine how the prodigal son felt when his father ran and embraced him after the way he treated his father.

We know the value of hugs in times of sorrow, but it’s sometimes overlooked. Last year one of our friends in the special populations group told me he was sad. I asked why and he said that he had come to church the prior week with news that his mother had passed away; however, no one had given him a hug! I started hugging him more often!

Then there’s the value of the everyday, friendly kind of hug. To those who have been at Singing Oaks for a while this brings to mind the man who welcomed so many of us with a hug every Sunday morning. That was George Delany. He will always be known as one of the most warm and friendly men to be a part of this family. His hugs encouraged so many.

The impact of a hug was also brought home to me recently. We were taking our son, daughter-in-law and grandson to the airport in December to start their journey back to Africa. After finishing at the ticket counter and baggage check-in we were standing outside the final security check point. I hugged Audrey and then picked up our 20 month old grandson Theo and gave him a goodbye hug. His mother then quickly told him that he would not see us again for a long time. He came back for a second hug that seemed to go on and on like he didn’t want to let go, at least that’s how I perceived it. It made an impact on me for sure and was possibly the highlight of my entire year (and I had a good year). And it came from such little thing, a simple hug from a small child. I am amazed!

I didn’t grow up in a hugging family so it does not come natural to me. But I believe in the power of a hug. Whether that power comes from some kind of hormone release or something more spiritual I’m trying to hug more in 2017.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Standing Tall, Falling Hard: Blessing and Curse of Free Will - Laurie Templeton

King of kings - Bob Bentley

Even Superman Had to Learn to Fly - Dan Cooke

Redeemed! - Beau Davis

Joseph - Beau Davis

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on the journeybaby dedication

Location
McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

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Worship Schedule
Sunday Morning
9:00 - Worship
9:35 - Children's Church
10:45 - Worship
11:20 - Children's Classes
Wednesday Evening
5:30 - Dinner (during school)
6:30 - Passion Worship
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
7:00 - Classes/Small Groups

Children are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church or classes. Sunday morning adult class times vary.


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