Thursday, March 13, 2008
A Time To Embrace
“Toast ‘em! Toast ‘em! Put them in the toaster!
Toast ‘em! Toast ‘em! DING! All Done!”
Throwing his arms open, a small girl tumbles forward like a giggling sunbeam, “Do it again Daddy! Do it again!” Running back to be encircled with his strong arms, she begins to chant the ditty with him. There is a safeness in being snuggled close and in hearing his heartbeat slow and steady through his shirt.
Tenderly held in the firelight of the woodstove, and cradled in the softness of the lullaby,
“If I could, I would give you wings
To carry you out of the storm
Take you higher then the wind
And you’d be safe and warm.”
Her voice is dusky, lilting in time with the creaks of the cushioned rocker. A tousled towhead is nestled into her neck, blinking slowly… and slower until his dark lashes rest on his flushed cheek.
“If the smell of a campfire was bottled – I’d wear it!” The athletic bounce in her voice is identical to the vigor in her step when she hikes mountain ridges in search of a “good view”.
Wrapped snug in her arms, we chuckle as the sparks spin upward to join the stars. Her hugs are as warm and nourishing as her cinnamon rolls, and she sways gently and talks about life… her kids, her husband, the fields, calves, Andy Griffith, Italy, the sunset, and Spunky the cat.
High on the list of endangered species and natural resources is an item of inestimable worth, one that is rapidly becoming one of the scarcest commodities on the planet. Among pandas, pure water, Siberian tigers, rainforests, and whales - there is one thing for which humanity is starving.
Have you guessed? It is a simple hug!
Granted, some would vehemently argue that an honest and hearty handshake is even nearer to extinction. But I maintain that if the frequency of heartfelt hugs increased, more people would grow up having internalized the ethics from which a good handshake develops.
Hugs are among the most wonderful renewable natural resources available to mankind, but unfortunately many people are suffering from a severe deficiency. Manipulating hugs, cheap hugs, and indifferent hugs are more then plentiful. A safe, warm, and sincere embrace is rare.
He was born into this world with an embracing heart, an indomitable Spirit of hope, and a mission to encircle the earth with a bright-eyed and captivating love.
Not pious, polished, or political.
No air of importance, no façade, no indifference.
“And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.” Mark 10:16
There was no distance of difference.
He stood in the middle - informal, unprofessional, and completely down-to-earth.
Open arms, open heart.
“God, who in Heaven surrounded by living creatures and myriads of angels would on earth touch ulcers, and hold children, and tell stories, and wash dirty feet.” God Cares p. 337
Certainly not the traditional picture of the Divine Omnipotent, but real, approachable, and huggable! When we become captivated by His love, our own hearts become enlarged to embrace others – to embrace the world.
Will you embrace your world?
For He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2nd Corinthians 1:4