I had the privilege of sitting by a lady I didn’t know during lunch at our church yesterday. She was about my mother’s age and she had beautiful skin and a sweet smile. Her hair was fixed “just so” and, all in all, she gave every appearance of having had a very good life. That may have been true, but it wasn’t all of her story.
As we chatted, we found that she was a cancer survivor and that she had lost her husband of many years just a few months earlier. When her husband passed there were people around her who should have–but didn’t–make life easier on her.
You never really know the whole story from just looking at people, do you?
The lady wasn’t bitter and she wasn’t complaining. I was grateful that she felt comfortable enough to share those things with us. In fact, she was such a delightful companion that, perhaps, we all shared more than just the meal. She glossed over the hurt and the difficulties as she came to the part where she shared some of the things she’d done since she’d lost her husband…things she’d done to help herself keep from getting depressed.
She had taken a trip with other Seniors from our church and made a point to enjoy every minute of it. She’d made some plans to make repairs to her home and her car and was planning a special purchase of something she’d always wanted. You could tell, as her eyes sparkled, that she was really looking forward to it and I loved that she seemed to be enjoying the anticipation almost as much as I think she’ll enjoy the actual purchase later.
When she spoke about making the necessary repairs to her home, she mentioned that she had a relative who was in the construction business. He had been instrumental in sending men over to make the repairs and she knew she could trust them because “he wouldn’t hire just anyone.” Then her eyes teared up just the tiniest bit as she told us that as those men came to her home every morning to work on the repairs, they always stopped by first…to give her a hug. She talked about how wonderful that was in the aftermath of her loss and how people didn’t realize how important just giving a loving touch was…especially to one who was grieving.
It was both a pleasure to be in her company and a confirmation of the weekend challenge I had felt compelled to share this past Friday. I’m sharing this just in case there’s someone out there who read the challenge and didn’t get to fulfill it this past weekend.
It’s not too late! There is someone near you who needs that hug…and you need to be the one who gives it. It will mean more than you can imagine and will most likely not cost you a thing…not even a minute.
We’re called to be people who share Christ with the world and yet we’ve managed to insulate ourselves to the point that we end up sharing our money, but not ourselves. Look around you this week. Someone needs you to be “Jesus with skin on” right where you live!
Hug someone today! And doing it again tomorrow probably wouldn’t hurt, either! (grin)