The 1968 Family Circus cartoon illustrates a picture of a small child who ran up to his mother exclaiming, “I need a hug, Mommy. I used up the last one.” Bil Keane’s insight on the need for intimacy in the heart of every reader led him to display family life for over 50 years. Bil reportedly used his own family life as the inspiration for his cartoons ~ though he humbly admitted his mission was simply to warm hearts and brings smiles.

The small child in all of us needs consistent hugs. Strange as it may sound, my hubby’s and my idea of a vacation is time away to ‘pull the plug’ from schedule and to make ourselves free to receive Father’s hugs — and, unashamedly, hugs from each other. That requires un-scheduling even in the vacation itself, along with much quietude, rest, and reflection.

During these times away, we take inventory of our lives. Yet we’ve learned to be careful that our reflections are during communion with Father God; otherwise, we tend to get lost in our own thoughts and plans. We are keenly aware that some thoughts can wander into avenues of worry and anxiety… and into negativism.

So, as Bil so aptly displayed, the little child in us “needs another hug, because the last one was used up.” Used up as life demands our attention. Some hugs can be wasted on such non-Kingdom issues as: the lure of worldly success, draining people, worries about money, and craving favor. A successful vacation, in our opinion, is honing in on what matters most: learning how to walk in agape love and to be faithful to the call of God upon our lives.

Adam hugged Eve, while in communion with God. Adam knew her, and she conceived. We come to know God, receive His hugs, and thus conceive of His plans and purpose. As He draws us to Himself, we come as a child, understand His Kingdom ~ admitting we are needing another hug.

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother.” [Psalm 131:2]

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