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Hugged

Valentine’s Day was coming up and I longed to feel God’s love more than ever.

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I sank into the couch on my sun porch and opened my Bible. Reading devotions there each morning made me feel closer to God—something I needed, especially today. It was the day before Valentine’s Day and I was mentally exhausted. My husband, George, had colon cancer and was confined to a wheelchair. It broke my heart to see him suffer—to know that we wouldn’t be able to go out to dinner and celebrate like we always had. As much as I knew God was with us, I longed to really feel his presence.

“Lord,” I said out loud, “What I could really use is a hug from you.” It sounded a little silly—a hug from God—but I needed more than Bible devotions to comfort me.

Later, I went inside. I decided not to tell George about my prayer. He’s a little more practical and would’ve assured me that God was all around us. Still, before bed, I prayed again. Lord, please give me a hug. Let me know that your loving hands are on George and me.

The next morning I wished George a Happy Valentine’s Day and opened up the sliding glass door to the sun porch. Suddenly I spotted something wedged between the screen and aluminum grille of another door—the one leading to our front yard. What on earth is that? I thought, pulling it out. In my hand was a little hardcover book. The title was written in big, bold letters: Hugs for Friends.

“Okay, God,” I said, laughing. “I hear you.”  

Turned out my friend Becky had left it.

“I was on my way out of the bookstore and that title caught my eye,” she told me. “I’d never seen it before but I was overcome with this incredible urge to buy it for you and bring it straight to your house.”

Becky didn’t know where that urge had come from, but I sure did. And when she stopped by later to visit, the first thing she did was wrap me in a big, comforting hug. I knew where that had come from too.  

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