Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Time to Embrace

She is not known for being on time, and sometimes, Mrs. Clara huffs and puffs her way to a pew long after the service begins.  She is not a Sunday School teacher.  She does not sing in the choir.  She is not called on to head committees or women's groups.  One might think she doesn't have a ministry.  One would be wrong.

Mrs. Clara is a hugger.  She can spot those of us who are sad or just going through a hard day.  She can see tears through perfect make-up or behind the giggles.  She knows when we have need for affection, and draws us to her ample shoulders and pats our backs the way our mamas used to.

She doesn't hug everybody, and can cunningly discern those who are not interested.  She knows, somehow.  Sometimes, when one thinks they can't possibly make it another day, they can draw strength from Mrs. Clara and the world looks like a brand new place, a place where things are possible and there is promise.  Her ministry is just as important as that of the pastor or choir director or Sunday school superintendent.

I've known some good huggers, but I think my Aunt Marie was one of the best ever.  I won't ever be able to enjoy another hug for her, but Mrs. Clara is a wonderful substitute. 
Hugs are free and require very little effort, but they can change a person's day.  I wonder why we are so stingy with them?