Posts Tagged ‘Pray’

Not just a hug, but so much more . . .

August 2, 2010

When is a hug more than just a hug?   Last month I had some encounters that were amazing and I learned more about a simple hug. It was my monthly speaking engagement at Restore Hope.  I love that name, “Restore Hope”.  People come to Restore Hope who are having a hard time making ends meet. They need food or clothing or help with their rent. They may be out of work, the working poor with not enough money to cover basic essentials, overwhelmed with medical bills or on the verge of being homeless. Whatever their situation, there is a sense of desperation, they need some hope.

No one is required to attend chapel. They are invited to attend.

During my talk I shared that I’m known for my hugs. People at my church sometimes line up for a hug. I shared that a few weeks before I had given a lady a hug at church.  She said, “I just love your hugs!  And that smile!  Those eyes sparkle with joy!”
“You’re looking at someone who has spent a great portion of her life in depression,” I replied.  “I was diagnosed with four different kinds of depression and the joy you now see is because the Lord had healed my heart.”

This lady has known me for about six years, yet, she laughed and said, “I would have never known that you ever suffered from depression!”   We both agreed that our God is amazing.

As I shared with the audience at Restore Hope how Jesus came to heal the broken hearted, to comfort those who grieve, to provide for those who mourn, to take the ashes of our broken, messed up lives and turn them into a thing of beauty, to give us a garment of praise in exchange for depression and despair, [Isaiah 62:1-3] every eye was upon me as they listened intently.

It is the custom at Restore Hope that after the message has been given anyone who wants prayer may come and receive prayer or they may wait until they fill out their paperwork, then fill out a request to see the chaplain and receive prayer later.

“I don’t want prayer, I want one of your hugs,” a tall lady announced.  I gave her a warm hug.  “Oh, that felt so good.  Just what I needed. Thank you!”

To my surprise, no one wanted prayer. They wanted hugs! And so the hugging began.

As each person was hugged, they smiled and thanked me.  I was smiling too. It does a body good to be hugged.  It nourishes the soul. So many of us do not have human touch for days or weeks at a time.  Touch is healing.  I was being blessed as well.

Thinking that I was not needed further I stayed in the chapel and visited with the chaplain assistant.

About ten or fifteen minutes later an elegantly groomed woman came in the chapel doors.  About half way across the room she extended her arms towards me, smiling, and walked briskly towards me.  I instinctively extended my arms towards her and we ended up in a wonderful hug.  Hugging her was like hugging my long lost sister.  (She wasn’t in the audience when I spoke, so this was a mystery.)

This lady (who I will call Linda)  was there with her sister who was going through treatment for cancer.   Linda had lost her high paying job in another state.  Unemployed, she was available to help her sister who was in the last stages of cancer.  Linda’s sister was not able to work and was needing help with her rent.  While we talked, the sister was being seen by the social workers and counselors at Restore Hope.

Linda shared with me the things she had learned through her unemployment about the true value of material things. For too long she had focused on acquiring and spending money.  Now she was on a spiritual journey to get back in a walk with Jesus. She was spending time meditating and praying. She was learning to forgive those who had hurt her.

As she shared, I was able to encourage her and pray with her.  Then the sister came in and Linda said, “This lady will pray for you!”

Sister was very open to prayer.  Sister was very ill and was wearing a mask to protect herself from being infected by others. I asked what she desired me to pray for and as she shared I felt such love and compassion towards her.  After I prayed, each lady reached up and was given a hug.  Not just a shrug of a hug –  we swapped a warm, “holding you like my sister, I want all the best in the world for you,” hug. They had tears in their eyes and thanked me. They were smiling through their tears.

Again, I thought I was through for the day, but as I walked through the lobby where people sat at tables, I was asked for prayer. I gave prayer and hugs.

I left there with my love tank full.  I had received as well as given. Thank you, Lord, for simple hugs.

Sometimes, we need a hug more than we need a prayer.   A hug can be a healing balm to the soul.  Sometimes . . .  a hug restores our hope.

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I Wonder What Happened When Momma Went To Heaven?

December 31, 2009

I wonder what happened when Momma went to heaven?  As the song writer wrote, “I Can Only Imagine,” I can truly only imagine.  What was it like when she saw Jesus face to face?  As the beautiful and mellow, alto voice of Susan Russell sang Momma’s favorite song at her funeral, my mind did some imagining.

“Face to face with Christ my Savior,

Face to face – what will it be –

When with rapture I behold Him,

Jesus Christ who died for me?

What rejoicing in His presence,

When are banished grief and pain;

When the crooked ways are straightened,

And the dark things shall be plain.

Face to face! O blissful moment!

Face to face – to see and know;

Face to face with my Redeemer,

Jesus Christ who loves me so.

(Refrain)

Face to face I shall behold Him,

Far beyond the starry sky;

Face to face in all His glory,

I shall see Him by and by.

by Mrs. Frank A. Breck

To come face to face with her Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves her so!  To know the fulness of His love. To be in that loving Presence forever.  How awesome that would be!  I can only imagine.

I can imagine Momma (I’m the only one that sometimes called her Momma) arriving in heaven seeing flowers and beauty that cannot be described in human terms. Perhaps she felt a little fear at meeting her LORD and Savior for the first time face to face, but I can imagine open arms enveloping her with love, saying, “Welcome home, my daughter, my faithful servant. You have done well.”

I can see in my mind’s eye, my mother experiencing love greater than she has ever known before.  Total acceptance. All fear washed away. All concern about her appearance vanished in the overwhelming love of Jesus.

I can imagine Momma looking down and seeing her beautiful white robe.  Did Momma reach up and feel thick hair? What color was it? What was the length?  No more wigs for Momma!  I can see those legs that have not carried her weight in many years dancing with joy; arms raised in praise to her God.  Oh, what a day I can imagine!

During my mother’s last years her mind slowly was taken away by dementia.  One of her friends, a minister, Rev. Jack Corry, a widower himself and a friend of the family would call her and say, “Daisy, I’m going to be preaching next week. I need your prayers.”  And Momma would pray!  Then after the meeting was over,  Jack would call Momma and tell her just how her prayers were answered.

One day Jack had called Momma after her conversations had become somewhat muddled and confused.  “Daisy, I need you to pray.”  Momma promised to pray.  And then Momma told me what happened next. She lay in her bed at the facility where she resided and asked Jesus to show her how to pray for her friend, Brother Jack. Momma was lying on her side and she said she felt Jesus’ arms go around her and she felt Him holding her close in His loving presence. She said that Jesus made her mind clear, and He gave her the words to say, so she could pray for Jack.  She told me that Mr. Corry called later and said there had been a mighty answer to prayer.

The last words any family member heard her say, My sister had stopped by mother’s room in the nursing home, explaining to Momma that my sister’s husband, Binion, was not well and had been placed in the same nursing home as our momma.  Now, Momma usually did not recognize her own children when they visited. But that day there was a window of clarity.  Momma said, “Well, we need to pray for him, don’t we?”  And then Momma prayed . . . for Binion . . .  by name.  My sister, Gwen, was so touched by Mother’s sweet and precious prayer.  Somehow, when my Mother communicated with the Lord, He would give her clarity of mind so that she could pray. Of course, the Lord always understood her thoughts however muddled they may be, but He would cause her to pray so that we could understand her too.  The results were always amazing.

I’m seeing Momma with that joyous smile, those twinkling eyes, and a clear mind looking at Jesus!

In loving memory of Daisy Moon 1917-2009

Remember to keep the porch light on in heaven, Momma, for your children will be coming home some day.

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.