Have you ever hugged someone and felt their pain, or their joy in that hug? On the flip side, have you ever hugged someone and felt that it was “empty”? We all have experienced one of those “fake” hugs – just going through the motions but not truly meaning anything. This weekend, Brian and I were watching his beautiful daughter head off to her first Homecoming! She was beaming and her daddy was one proud man! As we prepared to leave and let them go on their way, Savannah hugged her daddy. You could just tell by watching the exchange that it was one of those “real” hugs. She held tightly to her daddy,perhaps reassuring him that even though she is growing up so fast, that she would always be his little girl – perhaps wanting to hold on the being that little girl for just a moment longer. It was a sweet moment and we even ended up talking about that hug. On Sunday, Brian and I were honored to serve a group of homeless people in Hamilton. We had lots of good conversation as we served lunch and spent time with the group. As the lunch ended, one of the men approached me to say thanks. He extended his arms and hugged me. It was one of those “real” hugs. His gratitude came through that hug – it’s one of those things that it hard to explain, but there are definitely emotions in real hugs. All of this is a lot like life and the way we live and serve others. Are we just going through the motions of all that we do? Or are we allowing ourselves to be present and experience all that life has for us? Do we fake our way through what God has planned for us or do we grab on to it and pursue it with all that we are? Every step on this journey is another chance to learn and to live the life that God has planned for us. I am convinced that grabbing opportunities and holding onto them with all of our being is much more rewarding than just going through the motions. I will hold on to the memories and the lessons from this past weekend, and I will never forget those two hugs that really made me think.