Sometimes a hug is all you need. It doesn't necessarily solve your problems or make you feel better, but a hug is a sort of symbol.
Last week, I received the news that one of my teachers from the middle school years had committed suicide. It was a terrible incident that shook the whole community and disrupted the lives of so many in my small town. Being here at school, I was so far from the event itself that I had almost no reaction to the news. It haunted me so, that I called my parents to get more details that night after all my events for the day were done. The details were horrible, and after I had hung up the phone, I was numb. I still could not react, so I stood in the hallway outside my door until my friend Annie stopped to talk to me. She told me about something funny that had just happened to her, but I couldn't really listen. After she had finished her story, I told her everything that I had just learned, and what I thought, and how I didn't know what to do.
Then Annie hugged me, and I started to cry. That hug was exactly what I had needed to get me started. It was the kind of hug that let me know that God was watching out for me, and that it was alright to grieve. It didn't make the sadness less painful, or wash away the images flooding my mind, but it was a symbol of all-encompassing love. That no matter where I am or who I am with, God's loving hand will be there to support me.
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