Nan sat in her recliner admiring her Christmas gift. Her grandchildren had bought her a tablet. She was intrigued that she could read without turning pages.
“Nanna,” Matt called.
She barely heard her grandson as she fiddled with the keypad.
“Nan, I’m going home,” Matt said, “so give me a hug.”
Nan stretched an arm towards her grandson, balancing the tablet on her knees.
“Uh-uh! I want a real hug. Come on, get up.” Matt stretched his hands towards his grandmother and helped her to rise. “I want to give you the kind of hug that says, ‘I love and appreciate you.’” He wrapped his arms around her, enveloping her delicate frame.
Nan’s mind flooded with memories. She thought about Matt as her infant grandson who loved to give snuggles. She remembered his hugs as a teenager that were more like a football player’s tackle. As an adult, he still loved to give hugs. Matt didn’t give fake, ‘see ya’ hugs; his were sincere. Although his hugs were gentler now, the same emotion came through…that of love.
Love…Matt excelled at expressing it.
Nan thought about the family activities of the day: a gift exchange, Grandpa’s favorite movie, a candlelit meal with Bible reading, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 KJV), and finally Matt’s hug.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.~Luke 2:11 KJV
What would Nan remember most? She knew her favorite memories would be the expressions of genuine affection such as her grandson’s hug. She felt as though she could still feel Matt’s strong arms wrapped around her. She stroked her arms, longing for his next hug.
“Such a good boy,” she whispered.
Nan nestled into her recliner and opened her Bible, setting the smartphone aside. She read about Simeon and Anna, whose intercession brought the Savior’s birth to fruition. (See Luke 2:25-38) She felt she understood Mary’s ponderings about the things she’d learned about her infant Son, for, “she kept all these sayings in her heart.” Luke 2:51b KJV
She kept all these sayings in her heart.~Luke 2:51b KJV
“Lord Jesus,” Nan said, “I too ponder the promptings You’ve place in my heart about my family, and in particularly regarding my grandson, Matt. You’ve been whispering into my spirit he will understand You better each day. Make him a prayer warrior for You, filled with Your love and committed to knowing and obeying Your Word. Put a song in his heart and upon his lips an unshakable praise. Help him to glorify You in everything he does. Let every hug he gives be ordained of You.”
Nan felt a stirring in her heart to spend more time in intercession. Although age had confined her to her home at times, she knew her job was not over. Her prayers would outlive her. She determined to be an effective prayer warrior like Simeon and Anna.
“Heavenly Father, whatever I can imagine that aligns with the principles of Your Word, You can activate through my prayers, so use my prayers as hugs,” Nan said.
Nan prayed her family would ponder the gift that expressed the deepest love of all, which had been given by Father God; “For God so loved…” Matt, Danielle, Eric, Grandpa, Nan… “that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV) Nan envisioned Jesus’ outstretched arms reaching around her grandson, family, neighborhood, city, nation … and world. She knew Jesus had been born to die and raise again so every person could receive an everlasting hug.
Lord God, use my prayers as hugs, to embrace the world with Your love.
Genre: Fiction. Not Just Any Hug is a tribute to my son, Matthew, who gives the best heartfelt hugs. It is a fictional story based on real life events. Thank you, son, for your heart felt hugs!
Copyright © 2019: Not Just Any Hug: Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved
Published: March 25, 2019: Christian Broadcasting Network: Beth Patch, Internet Ministries Producer
Published, Similar Version: December 26, 2019: PresbyCan Daily Devotionals: Robin Ross, Submissions Editor