Today is Sunday. It started out as a shitty day. I woke up with a slight hangover from one too many beers while binge watching Game of Thrones the night before. I wasn’t all that interested in going to church, and this didn’t make it any easier. I pushed through, made it to church, and did my thing. As far as “worship gatherings” go, it was pretty good, even though I was not. I have been going through a difficult season long enough to realize that things can be good regardless of how I feel.
We eat lunch together as a church family after the gathering each Sunday. I sat with a few guys and had a nice meal. Still feeling a bit low, I started to pack up my things and prepared to go home. As I was slipping my guitar into its case, a dear friend came up to me and offered me a hug. While he embraced me, he said, “I want you to know how much you are loved!”
I came home to an empty house, since my family is visiting relatives in Los Angeles this week. With no one around, I’ve tried to spruce things up a bit. I needed some paint to continue on with my projects and was quickly on my way to the hardware store. While I was waiting for the paint to be finished mixing, I chatted with the employee behind the paint counter. She looked to be in her late twenties. She asked about my semicolon tattoo on my wrist and how long I have had it. I replied that I got it just over a year ago after some very difficult events in my life and that it is a daily reminder that my story is not over yet. She asked if I struggle with depression. I said yes. She shared that she too deals with depression, anxiety, and OCD. We smiled at each other across the paint counter, knowingly and with deep appreciation for the moment.
Just then the lady behind the paint counter looked up to see one of her regular customers come it. The customer yelled from the doorway as she entered, “I’ve got your hug!” The employee helping me with my paint said, “Give me a moment, and I’ll be right there.” By now the customer was standing next to me at the paint counter. She looked to be in her seventies. As she waited for her friend to finish my paint order, she turned to me and asked if I like hugs. I said “Sure. Most of the time.” Then she asked if would like one, to which I answered, “Sure!” It was so sweet!
I put my paint in the shopping cart and left them to catch up. While I was driving home, it dawned on me that I got loved today. My friend at church overtly shared his love with me. The employee at the hardware store quietly communicated “I see you.” The grandmotherly woman wasn’t shy as she said, “Here you go! Everyone needs hugs!”
Even though I returned home to a quiet house and continued on with my projects, my day turned out quite a bit less shitty. I got loved. It made a difference. It felt good.
I am grateful for those people that reached out to me. I hope that someday soon I will find the courage and grace to love it forward.
Originally published at The Way Beyond.