Sitting in my second office (Coffee on the Corner for those who may not know) I had a delightful encounter. A young soft-spoken Mary Baldwin student - who I have seen around town before - came up to me and said "I'm collecting hugs and I was wondering if I could have one of yours." How odd a thing to hear. I - of course - said yes and gave her one of my hugs. And it was wonderful! Hugging a virtual stranger may sound like it would be uncomfortable but it wasn't. It felt right.
After our hug, she collected hugs from other patrons and went to eating her sandwich. I like to think I offer God's love to all I meet yet I doubt I could ever gather the nerve to do what she did. That hug - unexpected to say the least - was a lovely reminder that we shouldn't be afraid to express care and genuine affection - even to strangers.