Healing in a hug

It’s now known as “the hug shared around the world.”  

Video: CBS News via YouTube

On Tuesday, November 25th, in Portland, Oregon, twelve-year-old Devonte Hart carried a sign to a Ferguson, Missouri, protest that read, “Free Hugs.” His hope was to inject some positive energy into the hostile and tense environment. Officer Darren Wilson, who was supervising the protest, noticed the boy and his sign. When Wilson approached Devonte to ask him about the sign, he saw the young boy had been crying. After the two talked about a variety of topics, the officer ended the conversation by asking Hart for a hug.

A moment of healing

Freelance photographer Johnny Nguyen captured the moment in a picture of Wilson and Hart embracing as tears streamed down Hart’s face. The picture rapidly spread over social media and, over the next two days, was shared on Facebook over 150,000 times. More importantly, for many involved in the Ferguson unrest, the picture has come to represent a powerful moment of healing.

The choice is ours

When we think of anger, it’s easy to associate it with other negative emotions, such as rage and jealousy, along with images of violence and destruction. Jesus himself taught that anyone who is angry with his brother or sister is liable to judgment. At its core, anger is a fuel that influences decisions and reactions. When anger overtakes us, we face a choice. We have the option to hurt others or ourselves through selfish words and actions. Or, we have the opportunity, as demonstrated by Devonte Hart, to bring healing to a person or a situation.

On the surface love and anger seem to contradict each other. Yet, as Jesus shows us, it is the anger he felt toward the injustices he witnessed that led him—and leads us—to make bold decisions to love and to help create positive change.

Question of the day: What should we do with our anger?
Focal Scriptures: Psalm 22:1-6, 22-24; Matthew 5:21-22a; Mark 3:1-5; Matthew 21:12-14

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

comments powered by Disqus