Message) Like a shepherd, he will care
for his flock, gathering the lambs in his arms, hugging them as he carries them, leading the
nursing ewes to good pasture.
are many ways of showing affection, but hugging has to be the warmest and ‘most
tender’ of them all. I do not understand all that takes place during a hug, but
I am sure that there is a transfer of feelings in a hug that does not occur
during a handshake or even a kiss.
purpose of a handshake is to show friendship and covenant. The purpose of a
kiss is to show love and passion, but hugging conveys warmth and protection and
in some ways an exchange of life.
have discovered that hugging is extremely effective in healing sickness,
disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. They have also discovered
that a ‘proper deep hug’
builds trust and a sense of safety as well as heals feelings of loneliness,
isolation, and anger. They even claim that an extended hug lifts one's
serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness. Hugging even strengthens the immune
system because of the gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge
this creates. This in turn stimulates the thymus gland which regulates and
balances the body's production of white blood cells which tends to keep one
healthy and disease free.
Hugging even boosts self-esteem. From the time a child is born their
family's touch shows them that they are loved and special. As a matter of fact
the associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from one’s early years
are still imbedded in the nervous system as adults. The cuddles a baby receives
from their Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level
throughout their life and therefore it gives them the ability to love
Another benefit of
hugging is that it relaxes muscles which release tension. This of course takes
away pain and sooths aches by increasing
circulation into the soft tissues and even helps balance out the nervous
though there does not seem to be an end to the benefits of hugging there is
what I call ‘false’ hugging which carries no benefit at all. A ‘true’ hug is a
body hug, but a ‘false’ hug is the head hug, the shoulder hug, or the side hug.
These types of hugs are learned behaviors and are not natural and therefore carry
head hug is when two people stand far enough apart and only their heads touch
when they embrace. The shoulder hug is when two people are shaking hands as if
they are passing one another and their shoulders touch in the process. The side
hug is when two people want no body contact at all, but feel they should at
least attempt a hug.
are learned behaviors because hugging comes natural with children and no child
hugs with their head, their shoulder or with their side.
couple of weeks ago while holding a revival in Mexico I had the privilege of
having a lot of children in the services…which meant I did a lot of hugging.
There is something so pure and special about hugging children and each time I
did I became more and more aware that each child seemed to completely disappear
in the hug. It was like we were one person instead of two.
their hugging was so complete I think I can understand why researchers have
discovered the array of healings in hugging. I am not sure where this old
saying came from, but it says, “We
need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We
need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
this puts a deeper understanding to our text, “Like a shepherd, he will care for
his flock, gathering the lambs in his arms, hugging them as he carries them...”
However, I guess the real question is, “How many hugs a day do we need?”
You said in
Matthew 10:8 to “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out
devils.” Is the prerequisite for healing hugging? Father we want to be both
healers and huggers.