The Write Place- Curtis Bruce Kessler

October 27, 2010

The Hug

Filed under: Uncategorized — cbkessler @ 10:44 pm

I remember the moment vividly. There was no introduction, no casual conversation, no words were spoken, none were needed- out of nowhere dad simply gave me a hug. He gently placed his arms around me. My head rested on his shoulder as we embraced for a long while. He held me that way, a beautiful way, which spoke powerfully to my heart and soul. Clarity came at this pivotal time as I could sense the full meaning of this moment, of this hug. I felt the truth of his intentions rather than hearing them spoken out loud. All time seemed to stop. To the very core of my bones these powerful truths reverberated – “I love you, son”, “I am with you”, “You are special”, “You are cared for”, “You will see me again.” I wanted this moment to last forever but all things must come to end especially our dreams. You see, the hug I just relived was a dream.

Please don’t get the wrong impression. My dad hugged a great deal over the course of his life especially the last few years before his death. There were many unforgettable moments of hugs which I could embellish but won’t take up the time now; however, he seemed to know exactly the right time to assure me, comfort me, welcome me, or simply connect with me in way words couldn’t. This was true with all our family. But, this dream, this special moment out of The Twilight Zone, is the hug that seems to have struck a special cord on my heart. What happened in my dream inspired me to consider the powerful lasting effects of hugging. Perhaps that was the intention or nudge from God?

There was a study that showed hugging increased levels of oxytocin, a “bonding” hormone, and reduced blood pressure – which cuts the risk of heart disease. “This growing body of research only goes to highlight how important social support is for everyone, not just those in a relationship” Dr Charmaine Griffiths, British Heart Foundation- BBC NEWS, Monday, 8 August 2005. But truthfully, we already knew this instinctively in our hearts, didn’t we? I mean really. A hug? Useless? Never! Just ask my grand-daughters! For that matter, ask my church family! I’m sure by now most of them are tired of my hugging.

In the Bible hugs were very powerful, meaningful, and moving moments. Remember when Joseph finally revealed the truth of his identity to his little brother Benjamin? Genesis 45:14 captures this moment this way, “Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.” Remember the beautiful Parable of the Prodigal Son the moment when his father saw his child coming home? Luke 15:20 says, “…but when he was a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Finally, as the Apostle Paul had spoken his last words of advice to his friends from Ephesus the moment was expressed in this way in Acts 20:37, “Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him.” The phrase “falling on the neck” describes a physical act of embracing another person. Hugging is what we would call such embracing today and it is just as powerful, meaningful, and moving as it was then. We need the special unique impact of hugs now more than ever!

I know that I dreamed my dad giving me a hug. But his hug moved me, inspired me. He embraced my heart. This is the key in hugging. When I hug, I truly am embracing your very heart. I am making a unique connection. I am saying to you through my embrace, even if it is just for a moment, that life is short, I may not pass this way again, that I love you, I value you, that you do not stand alone, so let’s celebrate life together. I accomplish this all with a simple beautiful thing called the hug.

Bruce Kessler
South Canadian Valley Church of Christ
Norman, OK



  1. Hello Brother Bruce,

    I really liked your blog on hugs. I want to extend a big brotherly hug to you. I will also try to hug more with others where possible. have a blessed day. I thank God for for you and what you mean to me and our edification in the blessed Word.

    Thank You,

    Charles Vallee

    Comment by Charles — October 28, 2010 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  2. Loved the pic. The bond you two had was special and unusual.

    Comment by Michael — October 28, 2010 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  3. I really enjoyed this. We do come from a family of huggers, don’t we. If I could I’d hug you right now. And I, also miss your dady’s hugs.

    Comment by linda — October 28, 2010 @ 6:07 pm | Reply

    • Linda You and Bruce as well as all the rest of your family’s just keep those hugs coming. Bruce what a great blog. I wish I would of been able to meet your daddy. I’ve heard such wonderful stories about him.

      May God continue to bless You and the work your doing for the Lord.

      Comment by Lori — November 6, 2010 @ 6:52 am | Reply

  4. Beautiful thoughts Bruce. Thanks for sharing them

    Comment by Dusty — October 29, 2010 @ 5:58 am | Reply

  5. […] The Hug October 20105 comments 4 […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « Cbkessler’s Weblog — January 4, 2011 @ 11:57 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: