I was sitting in church on the aisle on a Sunday awhile ago, feeling alone and out of place. Have you ever felt that way? (I figure if I have, I’m not the only one!). The sanctuary was darkened for a video when I felt a strong hand squeeze my shoulder from behind. I turned to see a dear friend who I love and hadn’t seen in a long time. I jumped up to give him a quick hug. I whispered, “I’ve missed you so much.” But no words were necessary. In that small moment, that small gesture, it was like Jesus was reminding me, “I see you. I care, and I’m glad you’re here.”
Isn’t this part of what it means to be brothers and sisters in the body of Christ? Showing up and being the visible reminder of God’s invisible presence? Although there are times when all of us want to be anonymous, what struck me was the power of being noticed. How many people do I walk by each day who are feeling left out and need to be reminded that they matter? That God sees them and cares?
A mentor of ours said once that a leader is someone who walks more slowly through a room, noticing God and others rather than hurrying to the next task.
Have you been in a situation when a hug from someone felt like a hug from Jesus?