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The Hug

The month of August turned out to be a stressful one for me. I have some personal issues going on and some challenging situations at work. On top of that, I sprained my back at the beginning of the month and have taken much of the rest of the month to recover. Since exercise is a big stress-reliever for me, the inability to do much has compounded the stress.

Last week there was one night where I was restless all night. I slept, if you want to call it that, but I was working in my sleep. Have you ever done that? I tossed and turned, making up issues in my dreams to deal with and just wearing myself out more. When the alarm went off that morning, I had no idea how I was going to get out of bed. I hit snooze and laid back down for a few minutes.

In that very short span of time I had the most vivid dream: the doorbell rang and I answered it. There was a very tall, familiar man standing there. I knew him immediately and was relieved to see him.

He simply asked me, “What do you need, Kimberly?”

I was so lonely and exhausted. It felt like I should have a husband at home to talk to about my day, some family to pour out my heart to. No one was there to take care of me after I had taken care of many others.

Relieved that he wasn’t there to ask anything of me, I choked out words that surprised me, “I need a hug.”

He didn’t waste a moment. He wrapped his arms around me in a powerful, brotherly embrace and didn’t let go. It was intimate, almost uncomfortably so, but I knew I was safe. Eventually, I felt every muscle in my body relax, accidentally dropped a paper I was holding. Soon I realized that I wasn’t holding myself up any more. He was.

Then the alarm went off again and I was awake, but I had this wonderful feeling still with me. I got up and went about my morning, trying to figure out who that man had been. I knew him, but I couldn’t remember his face. Every face I tried to put to him was wrong.

Then the thought struck me: it was Jesus.

I floated through the rest of that very difficult day, feeling like God had decided to show up on my doorstep that morning to hug me. I might not have a husband to wrap his arms around me, but God himself had taken the time to give me the support I needed. It’s been a beautiful memory since then.

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