Hugged by a stranger.


I have a lot on my mind I want to share…new glasses, our trip to San Francisco and some very (probably basic) things I have been discovering about myself lately. But before I start a million and one posts on all of that, I wanted to take a second, stop and appreciate something that happened to me yesterday.

So here is how it went down. After Asher went into his eye exam/laser eye surgery on Thursday, I took my empty double stroller that was packed with stuff to read, diapers, baby bottles and Asher’s giant medical binder, down the the cafeteria to get something to drink. After I accumulated my cocoa cola prize, I was walking out when a woman in scrubs (nurse, doctors, cafeteria worker?) approached me.

Woman: Are you missing someone?

Me: Oh, heh, he is in surgery.

Woman: Wait, who is in surgery?

Me: My son. *motioned to the empty car seat in the stroller*

Woman: Oh! Come here!

That’s when she gave me a gigantic hug. Not too tight, but loving.  Not the creepy or even feeling too space invasive, just a light but meaningful hug. And then she started to pray quietly pray.

She prayed for my strength, prayed for my son’s health, and just prayed for our family.

As we let go, she just asked what was the surgery for. I shared about his cancer.

After her prayer she didn’t say anything else about God or Jesus, she was just interested in me and my situation. After a bit, I did mention “God’s been all over it. We have been very well taken care of through this.”

That’s when I heard her let out a huge sigh of relief. With a smile she said, “You just said the magic word. God. I’m so happy you are not feeling alone through all of this.”

She seemed so relieved. She smiled bigger than before and was so happy: We had a relationship with God, so we were going to be okay.

We talked a bit more, she encouraged me to remain strong, and we parted ways.

I have never before been on the receiving end (okay, or even on the giving end) of something like that.

It wasn’t preachy and it wasn’t pushy. I noticed she said nothing about God or Jesus after her prayer was over. I am a Christian but still get annoyed when people who don’t know me try to “sell me” on Jesus. It was just genuine. Her prayer wasn’t forced for my ears, but just from her heart. She prayed for me, a total stranger, with all the confidence and security in the world.

This was the best example I could think of, of how someone could have ministered to me in that moment.  It was the best example of evangelism.

I didn’t think I would need it. The night before I had texted some friends for prayer, and spent the day off and on praying myself. Prayer is a major part of my daily life (at least I try for it to be). But this was…different.

This was not me asking for someone to pray for me.

This was not my church praying for me.

This was not me praying for someone else quietly to myself.

This was a stranger loving me enough to give me a hug and pray for me.

It had a weirdly profound affect on me. And I think it may have had on her too. I saw her physically change…lighten…when I mentioned God. She didn’t act like her job was done or she didn’t need to reach out to me anymore, but it was genuine relief. Genuine happiness for me. I got the feeling that we both walked away from that interaction changed a little.


2 thoughts on “Hugged by a stranger.

  1. How wonderful! So many times when people share what’s going on in life, I want to just give them a big hug (because really, if you don’t need a hug to get through some days…) but never do. Maybe next time I will!

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