Ok, true confession time. I am a hugger!! There, I said it. In most cases I can't just shake people's hands, I have to take it to the next level and wrap my arms around them and squeeze them. Oh, I'm no respecter of persons either. I admit it! Women, men, boys or girls; they all get the same squeeze treatment. I'm not sure why I am a hugger but maybe it's because I love to get hugs so I just think everyone should get them. Oh. . . . . . . .but not everyone wants them I have discovered. You can always tell the "wanters" from the "non-wanters", they either step back and stick out their hands for a quick handshake or they turn into a piece of lumber when you hug them. Gotta love the "lumber" ones, it's kind of like they just don't know how to react to a hug or any kind of affectionate gesture. And then there are the "germ-a-phobes" , they just put both hands up and make some excuse like, " sorry, it's cold and flu season you know"! They all still make me smile because I know that deep down inside there has most likely been some wound or scar or heaven forbid, no hugs at all in their lives.
There is something very therapeutic, I believe, about human touch. It has been proven that in infants there are definite adverse effects to non-touch. 100 years ago a great many babies in orphanages in the U.S. died before they were 7 months old. They didn't die from an epidemic necessarily or disease or malnutrition but they died from a condition known as "failure to thrive" which is cause primarily from a lack of touch. You see, God's design started with the skin of each of us in the mothers womb. Our skin derived from the same cells as our nervous system and is the perfect instrument for gathering information about our surroundings long before birth. Also, newborn infants are not fully developed at birth because their vision isn't clear and they can't differentiate sounds. Babies communicate with the world almost entirely through their skin. So, messages that are received through touch will have definite effects on our behavior for the rest of our lives. I must have been touched "a lot" when I was a baby because, like I said, "I'm a hugger!" Being touched in some way was in Gods design and plan for each of us. So, if you are "hug deprived", begin to add it into your diet. If you are a hugger, like me, "keep on huggin" and if you don't particularly relish the thought at all of hugging other people. . . . . . Please, please reconsider! Hugging can change everything.
Insight Insert: You may think that I am going to suggest that you start hugging more people this week but Im not! I will suggest to you to do just the opposite. If someone would normally hug you when they see you then I would challenge you to resist and try not to hug. I think you will see that this little experiment will be more difficult than you think. You see, we naturally crave and need human touch and whether you admit it or not you too may be a hugger! If on the other hand you know that you definitely are NOT a hugger then I challenge you to hug at every opportunity like you will never see that person again. In either instance I truly believe that you will come to understand a little better the importance of human touch.
Scripture: Romans 12:10. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. ESV