“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
~ Anonymous, Holy Bible: King James Version
Yesterday morning, very early, my husband took me out to an inner-city cafe for a good coffee. We took a sidewalk table, and Ben went inside to place our order.
While I waited for him a young man came around the corner, his eyes red rimmed, his distress obvious for all to see although he was doing his best to hold things together.
He walked across to a post office box and checked for mail, and then walked past me again. Just a few feet further on he stopped in front of a shop window, his shoulders heaving with silent sobs. A moment later he crammed his fist in his mouth to stop from wailing.
“God, honestly…” a patron at another table complained loudly. “Gay men are just so dramatic. Go home, sweetheart!”
Before I knew what I was doing I was up and on my feet, rummaging for a clean tissue in my pocket. I put my hand on the young man’s arm.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
He shook his head. No. No, he wasn’t. The absolute agony on his face was heart-rending.
I pulled him in and held in my arms, and let him cry on my shoulder until there were no more tears to cry. I gave him the tissue.
“Will you be okay?” I whispered.
He nodded. “Yeah. Thanks,” he whispered back, squeezing my hand and trying his best to smile. “My dad just died. I hadn’t spoken to him since… well, you know. I loved him anyway. He was my dad.”
We hugged again, and he went on his way. Ben came out and we sat back down.
“Who was that?” my husband asked. “Was he okay?”
“He’ll be fine,” I said, sipping my coffee.
“Did you know him?” my husband pressed.
“Not personally, but my heart I did,” I answered.
When we are brave enough to be open and vulnerable – when we meet heart to heart, soul to soul – we are never strangers, we are only love.
You being here makes the world a better place. Be love today.
15 thoughts on “Sometimes We Just Need A Hug”
This is so corny… but also very beautifully done, beautifully written. What can I say? I’m from Iowa. I know corn.
we never know what someone else is going through. we’re often in our own heads and projections, instead of our hearts. thank you so much for this reminder, and for your kindness <3 aleya
I came across a lady a couple of weeks ago, sitting on a bench in the main street of town. Clearly distressed, but no one was doing anything. So I wandered over (with 2YO in tow) and asked her if she was ok. She went on to tell me how she has OCD, anxiety, her phone had run out of charge, $30 in her account for the remainder of the week, has a doctor appointment later she was nervous about in case they don’t give her the medication she wants….plus a few other things. It put my life into perspective. I put a calming hand on her back while she was talking to me, tried to reassure her by saying that she had already made great progress for the day. She managed to leave the house, had a plan to get to the Doctor, has someone going with her to help out, had found a place to charge her phone….I hope it provided some comfort for her. I did want to offer her a cup of coffee, but fortunately she disclosed she had already had four (this was before lunch!). Another wouldn’t likely help that anxiety! It made me feel like a good citizen, but I certainly understand nikky44 fear of rejection.
I was in a similar situation last week, but it was an old lady. I could feel her pain just by looking at her and I just wanted to go towards her and give her a hug. I was hesitatnt. I was afraid of rejection. I was looking at her, waiting to have eye contact….. It didn’t happen and she left. I felt so guilty
You are awesome♥♡♥
You have made me realize something poignant. I find it easier to comfort a stranger than I do those close to me …I must work on that . Such a lovely story… that poor boy .
Heres a big giant warm heart hug for you Nicole you are a lovely gentle soul. God bless you every day.
I’m so glad you were there for this young man, just when he needed you xox
Yes sometimes a hug is all that is needed or all that can be given
I wish I had the courage to do something like that. The last time I tried to assist someone who slipped and fell on a wet floor the kept talking on their cellphone and disregarded me all together. You show me new faith in humanity.
Your generosity of spirit is just admirable – so admirable. You will have made a significant difference to that man’s day. Congrats on your response 🙂
you are beautiful. I wish you were my friend.
Thank you for my hug…what a beautiful soul you are.
The saddest part.. is the other patron who is living life in judgment and anger and fear, rather than embracing their own vulnerabilities. And I also thank you for comforting the young man Nicole. You were a ray of sunshine on a very dark day for him, I know this because I too, had a complete stranger show me the same compassion and love when my husband passed away very suddenly. We expect that compassion from loved ones, but when a stranger offers it, it is pure and genuine. As the song goes ” what the world needs now is love sweet love” !
Thank you for comforting him. <3