The hugless morning.

I wanted to give her a hug.

We were at a leadership team meeting, three women and I. One of the others was leaving after the meeting to travel home for the funeral of her grandmother. As often happens in early April, it was going to be a snowy time. And she was grieving her grandmother.

The meeting was good, I’m assuming. I don’t actually remember. What I do remember is standing outside after the meeting, wishing that I could give her a hug. But I didn’t know her well enough. And it would have been awkward.

We did know each other. Nancy helped my sisters and I with our parents’ silver anniversary party. My parents knew her well, from church. For reasons that neither she nor I remember, I invited her to my M.A graduation party five months earlier.

But none of that gave permission for a comforting hug. So I said goodbye.


nancy, the bear, and Jon

At that moment, there was no way to know that two and a half months later, we would go for a walk and decide to get married. And a year from that snowy April morning, we would be married, living in Austin, and in the first year of my doctoral program. At that moment, there was no way to know those things or any of the rest of what was going to happen in next 32 years.

What does a story about Nancy and me and an April morning 32 years ago today have to do with following Jesus 300 words a day? What’s the verse illustrated by this story, the parable we tell with our marriage?

I don’t know, exactly. Because we are still writing the parable.

But I remember that moment when I cared about her heart. And I’m glad that I get to give her hugs.