Giving God a hug

Daniel was sitting at the kitchen table snacking while I cooked dinner.

“Mama,” he said, and I could tell a question was coming. “Any time I give you a hug am I giving God a hug too?”

I hesitated, but just for a moment. I glanced at our little boy, his bare feet dangling toward the floor as he placed his Goldfish in patterns on the table.

“Yes,” I said. “Any time you show love to anyone you are showing love to God.”

Daniel looked up at me and smiled. And, as I boiled water and chopped vegetables, I realized how touched I was by our son’s words.

What if more of us longed to hug God?

What if more of us realized that God was in each person we encounter?

What if more of us tried to connect with God by spreading joy and love to those around us?

How much richer could my Lenten journey be if I chose a simple road map to faith—and clung to these concepts that come so naturally to our 5-year-old?

Naturally this Lent I want to challenge myself in many ways—and I should. And I am having a good Lenten journey. But maybe, just maybe, I should simplify my approach. Maybe I should ask myself more often how I can live out God’s love—especially in my own home and family.

And I have to remind myself again and again that although we are teaching our children about our faith, they are also teaching us.

In the moment, as I worked on putting dinner on the table, I knew the simplest way to answer Daniel’s question—and to show love to God.

I put down my spoon, stepped away from the stove, and leaned down and gave him a hug.

“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
(Matthew 25:40)

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.