Arms Wide Open

Compassion by William Adolphe Bouguereau. I love this image of John the Baptist embracing our Lord on the Cross

We have had a breakthrough in the Hilgefort house, Thomas slept through the night this weekend.  Now, I know this isn’t going to last. It will be sporadic and he will regress; but - I have seen the light.  It’s incredible what a good night sleep will do for you! With renewed vigor, I am back on the keyboard. At least for the moment.  Ha!


For those who know me, I am a hugger.  Can’t help it, I come from a long line of huggers.  I throw my arms around my target and give them a good squeeze.  I am very thankful for my little children, they are always obliging.  My older ones, not so much anymore. My dear husband is also not a hugger.  Opposites attract certainly holds true for our relationship in many ways.


The very best hugs, in my humble opinion, are when the other party has their arms wide open ready to not only receive your hug, but hug back.  You know going in you are loved, your closeness is desired, it is wonderful. Any day my mom comes over, she throws her arms wide open for whatever grandchild gets to her first.  Therese is usually the first there, throwing herself into her grandmother's arms with love and receiving love in return. Such a sweet thing to see.


Some of my favorite memories to think back on are the births of my children.  When your child is born, you open your arms to receive that child. The infant is too small to hug you back, but is still comforted and quieted by the warmth of the mother.  Tenderly being held and loved with no words. A beautiful image and memory to reflect on.


This is the hug Christ gives us.  Arms wide open on the cross, He waits for us to come to Him.  He is always there. His love always on display. We need not worry about rejection or a cursory pat on the back.  We can have full confidence in knowing we are desired, treasured, and loved. Sometimes we may feel we have the strength to hug Him back in adoration, in acts of love to family, friend, and strangers.  Other times we are wounded and weak like an infant and need Him to be our comfort and quiet our soul.


Hugger like me, or non-hugger like Tate - we all need the love of Christ.  We all need to experience that closeness. We all need to know that we are desired and God has a plan for us.  We also must share this knowledge with a world that is dying to hear it.


If today you are feeling a bit down, look to the crucifix and see Christ with his arms wide open ready to love and comfort you.  If you are having a great day, look to the crucifix and see Christ with His arms wide open and hug Him back with a prayer of gratitude or words of adoration at His greatness and mercy.  Whatever our situation may be, we know that the Lord is our rock and our refuge. He never changes, He is always there.


Yes, I am in need of a Savior with arms wide open to love me.  Thank you Lord for spreading your arms on the cross for me. JMJ