A Hug

It is something special to see the many volunteers who come to help out at Matthew 25: Ministries.

One day I saw a group of children and their chaperones working hard in the Processing Center. One of the children jumped up from their work station and started heading towards the door. “Come back!” the child’s chaperone said. Getting up to retrieve her wandering little friend she continued, “It’s not time to go yet!”

He turned and ran to her and said jumping up and down, “Pick me up … pick me up.”

“Oh, you’re too big for me,” she said. “I’ll hurt my back.” The boy dropped his arms and started to walk back to his station. His chaperone touched his shoulder and turned him around. “I can’t pick you up, but I can give you a hug.” And she did to the great delight of her little friend.

Watching that, I considered how in life, even if we wanted to, we cannot always pick up children. That is, we cannot lift them out of a difficulty they are facing. If we could, we would. We would step in and take their pain upon ourselves. We would gladly take their place in the sick bed. Their struggles and difficulties we would lift from them, but we know we cannot and we know we should not.

This is all a part of living, of growing up, of developing those physical, emotional and spiritual muscles. We know we will not be around forever. Someday our children will have to stand on their own, but we can hug them! We can reach down and give them strength and encouragement that a hug gives. We can put our arms around them and give to them that pat on the back, that little reassurance, help them with their reading, listen to a problem, give a smile, or a “sticker’ for doing a good job. A hug, you see, comes in all sizes and shapes. A hug is always needed even when they are, indeed, too big to pick up.

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