John Argone told an audience, “It was almost nighty-night time that is when the thunderstorm decided to really start doing its thing. It was a time of big thunder, big lightning, and our little son’s big eyes! I didn’t know what I was going to do? How could I handle his fear of the storm? And yet just in time, just like the cavalry in the old westerns, my wife came to the rescue.” When she entered our son’s room she said, “Hey, guys, did you know that every time you hear thunder, it is time for a thunderhug?” That sounded crazy to me but it just might work with our son. After all we were ready and eager to feel mom’s hugs and comfort in the middle of the storm. What she said did the trick not only for that night but also for every night after that when the sky would roar and rumble the kids would come running shouting, “It’s time for a thunderhug!”
I don’t know about you but I think we all need a thunderhug every once in a while; don’t we? Thunderhugs are needed especially at times when the storms of life are picking up and our security is quaking and shaking. They are needed when death or sickness enters our lives. And don’t forget that we need to remember others too! There are times when we meet people who are in desperate need of a thunderhug because they are lonely, fearful or feel forgotten. Maybe they are having trials, trouble, and tribulation in their life and need just someone to comfort them. In our self reliant and busy world it is getting harder and harder to find someone who will stop and examine their surroundings. Through the constant commotion of our world many have become immune and isolated from those around them. We used to call them neighbors and now we all but ignore them! Therefore many ignore those that are in need of someone to love, comfort, and encourage them. It is hard to get someone who has their head “buried in an I-Phone” long enough to care about the rest of humanity.
Listen brothers and sisters we, as Christians, will never fulfill what Jesus called the second great commandment unless we are actively looking for people in need. Are we too busy or too self-absorbed to look for opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life? If you are waiting for someone to give you some thunderhugs, your first order of business should be to look for someone who needs your thunderhug first. Many of us may feel we just don’t have the “gift” to be a teacher of the Word, but the “ministry of thunderhugs” is within the reach of every child of God! This ministry is patterned off of our God’s continual ministering to us. He loves us so much that He gave us a giant thunderhug when Jesus was born in Bethlehem all those years ago. You and I know that; that thunderhug that God gave us just keeps on giving.
So, open your eyes and your heart to the wounded and struggling people that we meet every day. They are shopping in Wal-Mart and Kroger just waiting on you to show them that you are concerned about them and their struggles. Don’t be one of those super “religious” people who continually pass by one that is in need “on the other side of the road”. Today be prepared to give that “thunderhug”; it may be someone who you see on the way home from work tonight or a neighbor that has lost a spouse. There are still others who need just someone to care. They need a call, a note, or an e-mail. It may be someone at church, at school, at work, or in the middle of your errands. No matter where it is; if you will just stop and look at their face and listen for their heart you will know that the “storm” is really intense for them. And you will instinctively know exactly what time it is. Now you are getting it; it is time for a thunderhug!