” 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: If you did not tune in the last Gramps Morning Thought you need to do so to get the whole story. The reporter was very persistent and continued to turn up the heat on the judge, but in each test of his ‘hugging promise’, the results were the same –people were eager to have the judge give them a hug!
The same offers were made and accepted by a San Francisco bus driver and police man, both who had reputations of being tough and very unloving. Finally, the reporter said, “I must admit, “I’m impressed”. Perhaps the reporter would have been the better test of the judges “Hug Theory” at that moment.
But the story did not end there. One day Lee’s friend, a professional clown, showed up on his doorstep and said, “Grab your ‘Hugging Kits’ and let’s go to the home for the disabled.” Lee confessed he was not sure how his ‘hearts for hugs’ would work with terminally ill, severely retarded and quadriplegics. But his concerns were soon put to rest and readily accepted the offer. As they worked their way through the various wards, Nancy, the clown had picked up an entourage of doctors, nurses and orderlies who following them from ward to ward.
After several hours, they came to the last ward which was home to 34 of the worst cases Lee had seen in his life. He was certain the true meaning of ‘hearts for hugs’ would not penetrate to the hearts of these poor souls but, after several, he learned love has no boundaries. They received hugs and love readily; patients returned that love as quickly as the person on the street- the meter maid, the bus driver and police officer.
Finally, they came to the last person, Leonard. Leonard was wearing a big white bib, on which he was drooling. Lee looked at Leonard and said to Nancy, “No use here, there is nothing that will reach a person like Leonard”. Nancy replied, “Come on, Lee, he’s a fellow human being, too, isn’t he?” Then she placed a funny hat on Leonard’s head. Lee then took one of his little hearts and placed it on Leonard’s bib and took a deep breath and leaned down and gave Leonard a hug.
All of a sudden Leonard began to squeal, “Eeeeeehh! Eeeeeehh!” Some of the other patients began to clang things together. Lee turned to the staff for some sort of explanation, only to find that every doctor, nurse and orderly was crying. “Why”, Lee asked? Lee never forgot what she said, “This is the first time in 23 years we’ve seen Leonard smile!”
Why do I tell you this story at this time? Our world has become so very impersonal. We feel that, if we find that very special gift and wrap it in beautiful wrapping and place a bow on it, it will build a binding love relationship forever. But, stop for a moment and think back to last Christmas, who gave you what? In our life-time we have learned that it is not the things of this world that we give that makes the heart grow fonder, but rather how I came to the aid of “the least of these my brothers” that makes an immediate deposit in our love bank. A deposit we can draw on for a lifetime!
Our prayer to you this day is that you take to heart the words of Lee Shapiro: It is such a simple thing to make a difference in the lives of others, a simple hug at the right moment can change a life. But then again, my friends, there are no simple “Hugs”. Let the love of Jesus shine through you.