Good morning, it is Wednesday, July 7, 2021
My dear friend Hayley posted a video on her Facebook page this morning that inspired me. I told her as much 😊
It was a woman, in France, standing is a public plaza, blindfolded. I could not make out what the sign next to her read but you knew immediately what was going on. She was standing there with her arms wide open. Some people stared but many walked up to her and wrapped their arms around her for a hug. Young, old, clean, sweaty, well-dressed, back packers, all stopped what they were doing, dropped what they were holding and hugged this stranger. I assumed she was blind folded to show no judgement. Maybe to show vulnerability. It was touching.
If I asked you to name a body organ, what comes to mind? Brain? Heart? Liver? Lungs? Kidneys? In fact, we have 78 organs! The five mentioned are considered as vital for survival. If one of these organs stops functioning even for a few seconds death will result without medical intervention.
But what is the body’s largest organ? Skin! Not only is it the largest but it is one of the most complicated.
I rarely think of my skin as an organ, but, along with the hair, nails, glands and nerves, it is part of the integumentary system, according to Oregon State University.
Think about this. Our Creator made us in such a way that hugging is vital, not only for mental and emotional health but physical health as well.
When we are hugged the body releases the stress hormone cortisol. One of the biggest things touch can do is reduce stress, allowing the immune system to work the way it should (source: healthline.com)
Many years ago, I watched a heartbreaking documentary on babies and children living in orphanages in third world countries. These tiny humans were rarely picked up and held. They were never shown love or affection. They were left in their cribs for most of the time. They were not emotionally well. They would rock back and forth, bang their heads on the railings, stare off into space and just cry and cry.
The program went on to say that studies confirmed that without loving touch, babies would not develop normally.
Humans were created to be touched.
“From birth until the day we die, our need for physical contact remains. Being touch-starved also known as skin-hunger or touch-deprivation, occurs when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things.” (source: healthline.com)
We need hugs just like we need food and water. It is critical for our development and well-being.
Studies have shown the many health benefits of hugging. It reduces pain and stress levels. It improves heart health, boosts self-esteem and improves relationships.
I have always pictured Jesus with His arms opened wide, inviting us to come to Him. John 6:37 “…and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” ESV
Deuteronomy 33:27 ESV “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms…”
And of course, we cannot forget the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus was teaching that all we have to do is return to Him, turn and head home and he will meet us on that dusty road, throw His arms around us and hug us! “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15: 20 ESV
Young, old, clean, sweaty, well-dressed, back packers, all can stop what they are doing, drop what they are holding and be hugged by the Creator. Let Him embrace you today!