Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free hugs and free coffee?!?

Yesterday was not only a beautiful day, but one that was fulfilling. Our campus ministry had experienced their 'Free Hugs' event last month, and decided to bring that back here and give some hugs away on their own campus, plus offer free coffee as well this time. Casey and I were excited about it because this meant that Miles and I could be there as well -- maybe pass out some hugs ourselves! And that's just what we did. I wish I had the kind of time and energy to already have yesterday's footage edited and burned and YouTubed, because there are some truly priceless moments in there. At one point, Miles decided he wanted to hold the sign himself (having watched all of us for more than an hour). This was a whole piece of poster board, so he pretty much could not see over it if he held it directly in front of himself. I don't know if it came through on the audio, but he would say, "Hugs? No?" as people walked by. My very favorite moment, which I've watched over and over, is when I tell Miles that 'this lady here wants a hug, can you give her a hug?' and Miles promptly puts the sign on the ground, says "Okay!" and holds his little arms out wide for that hug. Yeah...that one's definitely going in the video.

If you're wondering, there were plenty of laughs at our expense, plenty of students avoiding us at all costs, and even male students saying to some of our male students, "No thanks, I'm straight." But with all the rejection coming our way, we also got a lot of positive responses, people who actually said, "I could use a hug" and then thanked us afterward. One of our students got a hug from a campus cop! One of my accomplishments was talking someone into coming back for a hug after they had already walked by and said, "No, I can't!"

It's a very simple gesture, and maybe it seems strange to offer a stranger a hug...but let me challenge you to just try it before you voice any skepticism. It was an awesome day.

1 comment:

Leah Maria said...

I'm so glad the campus ministry did this. I have watched the video from WV over and over again. It's sad that here in at Ole Miss people were not as open to it. There are days when a hug would make my day be alright. I can't wait to see the video from this week!

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