It was about a year after I began attending the Wednesday evening church group that I really began to notice that the old man with the walker who mumbled a lot never got any attention. People were ignoring him after the group was over.
He just slowly got up and left. Every week the same thing. Well he was kind of hard to understand through all that mumbling. But it started to get heavy on my heart. I really felt bad for the guy. He looked so lonely.
All that week I pondered the situation. I could not get him out of my head! God was working on my heart. So the following Wednesday I sat next to him. His name is Bruce.
After the group ended that night I asked Bruce one simple question… When is the last time somebody gave him a hug. Immediately a tear began to roll down his cheek. His reply broke my heart. “over 9 years ago”. I gave him the biggest hug I could and informed him that, that ends today. Bruce left that night a few minutes later and I stuck around. When I was sure that Bruce was out of an earshot away, I got the group’s attention and informed them of what just happened. I then told them in no uncertain terms that this was completely unacceptable and I would love to see each and every one of them to start hugging on Bruce a little here and there and start paying attention to what he has to say. They did. We all did.What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
Within 3 weeks Bruce was talking more clearly and started using a cane instead of a walker. He no longer drug his feet on the ground and could walk about 3 times as fast as he was walking before.
Within the next 4 months I witnessed life return to Bruce. He was a changed man!
Don’t underestimate the power of a hug. Take the time to notice when someone needs one and give them freely. You could be saving a life.