Unfinished Hugging Business
By Shara Weiss
On a recent visit downtown for a birthday celebration, to an upper scale area, my eyes caught hold of a homeless gentleman. I walked past him and something prodded me, “Please go back. Please return to him.” I couldn’t shake the prodding and so I went over to the man, got down on the ground to make eye contact, and asked if he might like a hot chocolate. His eyes struck me because they were incredibly blue. The color reminded me of the ocean (which reminds me of the Holy Spirit). So often, when I talk to people who seem oppressed by demonic influence, their eyes are lackluster – void of bright color. This man, on the other hand, had eyes that sparkled like the light of Jesus. It was as though I could see Jesus inside him. We chatted for a few minutes and then there was an awkward moment where he leaned forward a bit, as if to hug me, and then pulled back. I sensed that he was uncomfortable hugging a female and so I stood up to leave.
I thought about this man the following day and there was a hovering feeling over me: I wanted to return. I didn’t have any cash on me the day before and wasn’t able to give him any bills. Rick (my husband) agreed to return to the scene so we could give the man a few dollars and some candy canes. I asked Rick to be the one to talk to him, this time, as I sensed that Rick would fill a void that I could not: an Unfinished Hugging Business void.
Upon returning downtown Rick got out of the car and went to talk to the gentleman (Daniel). Rick reminded him of the hot chocolate, saying that he was my husband, and although I didn’t have cash the day before we wanted to offer him some now. Rick asked if he could pray for Daniel at home and then the hug came. Two hugs and two “I love you’s” in fact. It was then that I realized a question was being answered for me. I had asked God several times during a twelve month span, “Why are you calling Rick and I to ministry as a team? Many couples do their own thing and one goes one way while the other goes another way. Why are we being called together at the same time?” I had yet to receive my answer but in this moment, it came: there will be things that Rick can do, that I cannot, and vice versa. Some folks will feel more comfortable with a female and others with a male. Sometimes a guy just needs a guy. Really, it doesn’t matter to me how the love of Jesus gets passed on: just so it does – whether it’s through me, Rick, or anyone else from the human race, obeying God’s call on the heart.
I am noticing more and more couples being called to ministry together. Several of my friends are doing (or going into) ministry with a spouse at the moment. It’s exciting to watch this unfold as we each answer a call to serve Jesus, in different ways.
As we drove back home my heart was at peace, having settled the Unfinished Hugging Business.