”Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).
Hey Gang: Did you ever just lean back and let your mind rest and let God take you where He wants to take you? For many years, I wondered what people meant when they said that, when in prayer, God spoke to them. That has been the desire of my heart since I dedicated my life to Jesus many years ago, but it never happened - at least not the way I heard others say they heard from God.
Then one day I heard an old-salty country preacher say that for many years he had that same empty feeling in his heart until one day, God said, “Shut up and listen!” Up to that point, in his prayer life, there was very little chance for God to get a word in edgewise. So, I adopted Moses example of how to talk to God. Simply stated, he talked and waited! If you truly want to hear from God, you must share your heart and then patiently WAIT for His response.
While I was leaning back with my mind in neutral, I opened a Guidepost that was lying on my desk and began to do some skimming. I came across a neat story about a lady who was dealing with depression in her life. Her world had fallen apart, following her divorce, and she was facing Christmas with a great deal of pain and feelings of rejection. Not an unusual story in this day and age.
Well, it seems one of the ladies M. in her prayer group recognized the signs, as she, too, had gone through a similar valley in her life and knew what it would take to provide a shelter and refuge for their sister in Christ. M found an excuse just to drop in on her friend and give her a big hug and show her that she, M, really cared and to show her friend that she was loved.
But M did not stop there, she also arranged for each of the other ladies in the prayer group also to just drop in at different times and give their sister a hug. As I read that story I thought of another article that was tucked away in my endorphin file about a retired judge, Lee Shapiro, who came to the realization that love is the greatest power there is and he wanted to share that new revelation with as many people as he could, so he developed a unique toolbox which he called his 'Hugger Kit'.
Contained within the 'Hugger Kit' are little red embroidered hearts with stickum on the back. On the outside of the 'Hugger Kit' is the saying, “A heart for a hug”. He became very well known for his ‘Hugger Kit’ and was often invited to speak at various social functions.
On one occasion, he was invited to speak at a conference in San Francisco where he shared his message of unconditional love.
At that conference, he was challenged by a reporter who said, “It is easy to give out hugs here in the conference center to people who choose to be here but this would never work in the real world”. The reporter challenged Judge Shapiro go out into the street and prove it works. With the reporter, close behind, he first approached a lady passing by and said, “Hi, I’m ‘Judge Shapiro’, the hugging judge.
I’m giving out hearts in exchange for hugs. Would you like one?” She eagerly accepted his offer.
The reporter responded “Not a good test, judge, I believe she would have hugged me.” Lee then looked around and saw a meter maid who was being given a hard time by owner of a BMW, to whom she was giving a ticket. He marched up to her, camera crew in tow, and said, “You look like you could use a hug. I’m the hugging judge and I am offering you a hug.” She accepted and her frown turned to a beautiful smile.
Again, the reporter was skeptical, which many reporters are when they come to face with situations they cannot place a negative slant on. The motto of the new media is good stories do not sell newspapers.
Well folks, this is turning out to be longer than I anticipated so will cut off the ‘Hugging Kit Story’ here and pick it up in the next blog – BUT, please tune in for the rest of the story; it is a wonderful example of ”Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow”.