I Broke the Hug

Western Theological Seminary Students

READ : Luke 10:38-42

Gently breaking away after a tense conversation, I returned to do the dishes. Fully believing that my tender hug had quelled Margo’s case of newlywed financial anxiety, I scrubbed away feeling very good about myself. Not only had I managed to rationally break down how each penny we had would be spent, I was doing the dishes as well! Expecting congratulations for what I thought to be award-winning husbandry, I was shocked to find my bride seated on the couch with tears in her eyes. Displaying my low level of sensitivity I barked, “What’s wrong with you? I thought we had this stuff worked out.” To which Margo responded, “You broke the hug.” Thoroughly confused, I just stood there. She tenderly went on, “When someone comes to you with a concern, you should never stop until they say it’s okay. The one who starts the hug is the one who gets to break it.”

I’m still working on living out Margo’s good advice. It’s similar to the advice Jesus gave Martha. We should be embarrassed. We tend to dishes rather than to the hearts of loved ones, missing opportunities to receive the “one thing” we need, the nurturing love and support of Christ through others.

– Gary Hanson


Lord, help us to put down the dishes when a loved one needs a hug, and to hold on until they let go. Amen.