My friend, from way back in the day, just wrote me a beautiful note in my inbox. She talked about hugging and how it sort of feeds her soul... and how some people are closed off to that kind of affection cause it is awkward. Ha! That's funny. I remember in jr. high seeing the girls run to hug one another... even though they had seen each other the very day before. I wanted to be like that... comfortable doing weird things... but I couldn't. It seemed fake... were they really so overcome with joy that they had to run into each others arms squealing? Like I told my friend last night... I don't do shallow well.
I love that people have a love language. I did that love language test and mine came up "quality time" (I would love to know what yours is.) That one fits me to a T. I have made a fool out of myself so many times trying to connect in a group. Everyone else wanted to talk about the weather or sports... I wanted people to talk about their hurts, hopes and dreams. Ha ha ha! I can get the weirdest looks sometimes. Paul always told me I make a terrible first impression, but that people like me when they get to know me. Let's hope that's true... I don't want my friends list count going backwards... depressing.
I do remember one hug... When we went to Africa in '98 on that mission trip, for many of us, it was our first time. From the long and overwhelming travel, to the restroom and sleeping situations, to the culture shock in general... my friend, that I had just met... was extended. We had been walking the villages all day. It can be a bit intimidating at first. You would walk into the hut of a total stranger and sometimes, your eyes wouldn't adjust to the light for an alarming amount of time. You would stand there in total darkness not knowing who was standing there to welcome you... or not welcome you. The Africans were awesome every time, but at first, you don't know what the reaction will be. They offered food that we couldn't eat b/c of the different bacterias. So with a hut of 20 women all staring at me as a bowl of corn was passed I had to decline. In a nation where starvation was normal, I looked at them feeling ashamed and wishing I could just take the freaking corn! I made a joke about dieting... who knew they would get that, but they all laughed... so sweet!
After a day of these kinds of situations and bugs and crocodiles and the like... I, like my friend, was extended. When we saw each other... practically strangers... we walked into each others arms and embraced. A little cry escaped our lungs... a spoiled American cry, but a cry none the less... I felt her fear (she had seldom ever left her mother) I felt her homesickness, I felt her fatigue... I felt... her... in that moment... I was in the eighth grade again... but there was no squealing... there were no loud words... just two people who needed comfort cause they were far away from home.
I know this has been my main theme... I guess it's always on my mind. Home... I'm homesick for a better time, a better place. It is real... of this I have NO DOUBT!!! None. None at all. When I see you there... I will hold you unashamed, unembarrassed... no fears, no doubts, no hurts... just two people who made it home after a long journey. There is a song by the artist I mentioned the other day, Keith Green.
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h89-3_kIRDA ) Maybe you'd like it... cause one day... this life will be the dream... living with God, or separate from Him, will be the reality. Until then, I will try to hug you and should the very Spirit of God come upon me (cause that is what it would take) I might even greet you with a holy kiss... till then, you wanna just spend some time together? :)