Hugs. What can we say? They make you feel good. Although many of us, especially men, feel the need to keep up this hard persona, at the end of the day they aren’t fooling anyone. Our philosophy is that when people are acting hard it’s because somewhere along the way someone forgot to give them a hug and let them know that they were loved. Fair? We would say so!
So obviously, this week’s challenge is about a hug. And while we want you to go and give out hugs to those you pass by who look like they may just need one, that’s not all we want you to do. First of all, just randomly giving people hugs can be disastrous if not done correctly. Make sure that you ask permission before touching another person (should we even have to say that?). And please, ensure that the hug is wanted; otherwise, you may find yourself with a bigger problem than someone not smiling.
Here’s the deal. In life we see people walking around under a cloud of depression or bondage looking for a way to escape. Escape comes in various forms. For example, some use alcohol as a way of escape. Others use drugs, sex, violence, you name it. But the biggest escape of all, and one that the enemy is using more and more is that of suicide. Knowing that we as Bridging the Gap Urban Ministries saw where Christians can start making a difference and it’s more than a hug. It’s a conversation.
If you have been following the #BlackJackChallenge from the start, then you have already reached out to people in your neighborhood and/or community. And that is what this hug should allow you to do. Don’t just give someone a hug and send them on their way. Start a conversation with them. Learn more about them. See how you can pray for them during their time of trouble. Lastly, follow-up with a hug. Let them know that you are there for them and that you will keep them in prayer. If you can, it would be dope if you could get their contact information as well. Just another way to continue spreading the Gospel and creating lasting relationships.
In case you are still skeptical about giving hugs to people, why don’t you check out these facts:
- A 20-second hug reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate.*
- A 10-second hug a day may fight infections, boost your immune system, ease depression and lessen fatigue.*
- Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.**
We always talk about the people who look like they have had a bad day or gone through a rough period. Some people talk about how rough they look. Others promise that their life will never turn out the same way. Regardless of how you think, the fact of the matter is that that is just another one of God’s children looking for someone or something to help them fill a void that has been left. As a Christian, a good goal should be to help them fill that void with the Lord. Help them to realize that there is hope and a God who loves them and can fill them with His presence. Now we don’t want to get all “churchy” or nothing like that, but we do think that it is always good to go back to the Gospel and remind people just how important we were, and still are, to God.
So, with all of that said, do you have seven hugs to give out this week? That’s one hug a day along with a brief conversation and possibly a prayer. We wish you luck on this round of blackjack!
Don’t forget to let us know what your experience was like! You can leave a comment on one of our posts or send us an email at email@example.com. Were you able to share the Gospel with someone and witness them give their life to Christ? Were you able to break down some walls and bring a smile to someone who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find one? Either way, we’d love to hear from you.
Make Your Move.