Today I was out at a local festival to see one of my students from my youth group perform a dance. It was a sunny day, I just helped host a youth event my intern was putting on. It had been an awesome morning. I was now hanging out near the ocean, waiting for the dance troop to get on stage when I saw another student and her mom coming towards me. Then it happened a hug.
Now hugs are big deals for people who work in churches. Some people think you can only side hug, hugging as long as it is a person of the same gender, others think hugs are never appropriate.
My personal thinking is that if the student initiates the hug, and it is an appropriate time, and appropriate setting it is fine.
Now the student hugged me at an appropriate time, in an appropriate manner. It was good, not because I need to be hugged but because it shows that I am making an impact in this students life. You only hug people you care about, you don't hug people you are uncomfortable around.
After a hug from my student I felt like my work is valuable. I am connecting with students and making a difference in their lives for Christ! What could be better?
So I started thinking, who can I hug and encourage that they are meaningful to me? I am going to have to pick someone and hug them! Weird thing to think, perhaps. Important message to give, definitely.