A Timely Hug

Last Saturday, God gave me a huge hug. I’m still floating.

Last week, a few women in our home group decided it was time for a ladies’ day out. They planned to have lunch at a local tea house, then browse through some gift shops together. Normally, this wouldn’t have interested me very much—I’m not much of a window-shopper, and I usually don’t take well to “women’s events”—but this is the group we joined last May and I’m still trying to get to know everyone. Besides, I felt a nudge, insubstantial but very real, from the Holy Spirit, saying “Go!” So I went.

First, lunch. I arrived right on time and walked up to the tea house. They must have seen me coming. One of the ladies from our group opened the door for me, exclaimed “I’m so glad you came!” and gave me a big hug. Wow. Talk about feeling welcome!

We lined up at the window to order our food. I should mention that Pete and I have asked this group for prayer regarding our finances, so they know our situation. Also, while we have no income, he and I considered this outing worthwhile, so I was prepared with cash in hand. I never got to spend it. Another of the ladies told the man taking orders that she was covering my lunch too. I tried to argue, but she’d have none of it. (And she’s in the middle of raising support for her upcoming move overseas!)

My salad was delicious, the conversation delightful. We mostly encouraged one another with how we see God working in each of our lives That sure beats talking about nail salons and TV shows—or worse, gossip. At one point, someone mentioned they really like a devotional by Sarah Young titled Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. Everyone else chimed in with how God has spoken to them through this book. I commented that I’d heard of it but didn’t own a copy.

After talking over our tea for probably way too long, given how crowded the tiny restaurant was, we gave up our table and headed outside. The sun was shining in a cobalt blue sky so we walked up the street to a Christian gift shop owned by another couple in the home group. I poked around a bit, made a note of some earrings that would make a terrific Christmas gift for a friend of mine, and turned to go… when all four women came over with big smiles and surrounded me, holding out a bag tied with raffia. What’s this?

“Open it!” Still confused, I pulled on the bow and reached inside. I found a beautiful leather-bound copy of the devotional we’d just been talking about, addressed to me, and signed by everyone. Talk about overwhelming!

Yes, I would like to get this book. No, I wasn’t going to buy it then… maybe someday when the paychecks start coming in again. Still, it wasn’t the book so much as the fact that these women cared enough to get it for me. I felt so… cherished! (Did they know that “gifts” is one of my love languages?) I’m not usually very emotional in public, but I almost lost it right then and there in the middle of the store.

We wandered through a few more shops, then headed back to our cars and Saturday chores. We ended with more hugs and promises to get together again soon. Real soon.

I am still amazed by God’s timing. We’re trusting God about the money, and I’m at peace with our situation. Life hasn’t been awful by any means. Still, we’ve had some struggles and setbacks, and I was feeling a bit discouraged. If anyone had asked, I’d have admitted that a hug right about now would be much appreciated.

God arranged for four Godly women to provide that hug from Him.

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