A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
( John 13:34-35)
Jhonsen Sales shared me how the few pages of Jack Candfield and Mark Hansen’s book of Chicken Soup for the Soul made him cry. I was so intrigued, I also read the short stories on the book. One of the stories that struck me is about the ‘Hugging Judge”. Lee Shapiro is a retired judge who is well known to give free hugs just like the one you see in the picture below:
They did an experiment on the streets of San Francisco and offered hugs to everyone they meet and I was also surprised at how such a small touch can bring a lot of difference to all the people hugged by him.
And so, after reading this story immediately I applied it to my co-pilgrims during our ‘unofficial reunion’, to a sister in the community who is feeling ‘homesick’ and to my officemate who ‘needs encouragement’ on taking board exam. It is such a wonderful feeling that I can still remember until now how tight our hugs were and how good it felt. How a simple hug can bring a lot of tears- not tears of sadness but tears of joy and delight. Hugging is not only physical but heals something within you, that ‘cries inside of you’ that makes you at peace afterwards with yourself and all the people around you.
I can now easily recall Someone who hugged me also…
I was attending a nationwide conference in our community in Davao City last October 23, 2011. I don’t know but for some reason I developed cough and colds just few days before the event. My parents were so hesitant to let me go and join the flight but I did not badged. I’ve felt the Lord is preparing something for me there- that if I did not go I will only regret. I don’t know what kind of faith He planted in me because even I am sick and in pain and cannot do anything (but just smile!) and have a few fits of cough, I still pursued. It was the first night and when it came to the worship part where in we will be singing and praising Jesus- I just cried, and cried, and cried… You know why?! Because I know I should be singing my heart out; I know I should be dancing with my feet; I know I should be raising my hands to Him but I cannot do anything. I am too weak to even stand longer and just then… Someone hugged me from the back! I know it’s Jesus who silenced me during that time. He assured me that even I will not do anything He will still LOVE me. For the whole seven days throughout the conference, I felt His presence! The LOVE He gave me was so overflowing that I have to share this LOVE with others.
And as if I am not yet through- there is still another person I will offer a hug with…
We were all shocked and surprised to hear that another sister in the community was confined at Makati Medical Center last Sunday due to excruciating pains in her abdomen. It was later found out that it was because of ovarian cysts and appendix stones removed from her. All of us sisters in the community has a ‘shifting schedule’ during her stay at the hospital. I was assigned for three days to take care of her and I thank God for this opportunity to serve her, to be with her, and to hug her especially during the times I have to lift her from her bed because she is still weak. I never felt that I am capable of this LOVE, that is freely given, without expecting anything in return or doing anything for me; is the same LOVE Jesus just gave to me through that nationwide conference, through the recent Holy Land pilgrimage, through my family, through my community, through my friends and LOVE ones, through my daily prayer…
Hope you will be addicted to hugs too…=)