Warm memories of a hug. . .

June 18, 2008

I was coming down the stairs from the second level of the University theater when I heard my name being called. The worship service had just ended. I sang “Via Dolorosa” before the sermon was given that morning. I was trying to exit the building quickly to meet with some friends when I saw an elderly man rushing to meet me. He was all smiles and his arms were already wide open.

I reached the bottom of the stairs where he met me and gave me a very tight hug. I felt my body tensed up a bit because of how tight he was hugging me. Pretty soon, it gave way to feelings of embarrassment because an elderly man was bear hugging me in public. Throughout that hug (which seemed a very long, long time) he kept on saying “thank you for the song… thank you for the song…’

After what seemed like a hug that would last for eternity, he let go of me and shook my hand while the other hand patted my shoulder. I felt the love he was trying to communicate. He was really moved by the message of the song.

This happened in 1995. Thirteen years ago, and I still remember it so vividly, that if I close my eyes and think about it, I could still hear the auditorium noise of people chatting about after the worship service. And I don’t even have to think hard enough for me to feel that hug he gave me.

The elderly man was someone I had seen as I grew up in the church. Not long after that, he contracted a serious illness and later on, this wonderful man who showered me with so much love that unforgettable day, passed on to be with the Lord.

I remembered him as soon as I woke up on Father’s Day. Driving to Church, memories of that single event flooded my mind. It was amazing how my mind soaked up all the nuances of that experience and embedded in my memory, and now 13 years later, on Father’s Day, those memories were emptying into the deep crevasses of my heart, filling me with warm and tender memories.

Thank you Mr. Joseph Boone for unashamedly showering me with your appreciation after that worship service. I never did get to tell you how much that hug meant. It was the first time that I was paternally and lovingly hugged as a son. It was a simple gesture that lasted less than a minute, but here I am now, 13 years later, reminiscing how it felt.

It was an eternal instant. Thank you. I pray that I will also be able to do just that to a young person who may be needing to experience the hug of a father. Someday when I get to heaven and see you, I would be expecting another bear hug from you.


2 Responses to “Warm memories of a hug. . .”

  1. ishigaki62 Says:

    Brought back a lot more memories of him after reading this. Its one of the things he did that I am able to do with my kids. You would be surprised how a lot kids (even grown ups) go through life hungry for a touch.

    Thanks Rex…Precious! You honor me by honoring my Father.

  2. oftherock Says:

    Thanks Jesse for visiting the blog. I am sure your kids will have wonderful memories of you growing up because of your devotion to them and to Annie.

    Take care.

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