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  • Mairin McCracken

The Huddle #47: Group Hug

3/29/2020



I don’t know anyone who has ever enjoyed a group hug. They’re awkward and often result in someone getting elbowed in the eye. But, MAN. What I would give to group hug you all right now.


This past week, I was brought to tears time and again while hearing about all of the ups and downs happening in the world. Specifically, I can’t get over the video of this man visiting his wife from outside the window of her assisted care facility on their 67th anniversary,  or this video of musicians all over the world recording a song with Ringo Starr. I’m getting emails from companies offering free usage for teachers and free wifi for families. I’m seeing companies like Reformation donating millions of face masks and Apres hand-delivering snack boxes to medical professionals on the frontlines. My heart is bursting. OW... and WOW. 


In his book Tattoos on the Heart, Father Gregory Boyle writes about one of his favorite Bible verses. (Note: Feel free to swap “Jesus” with any other spiritual higher power that aligns with you. ) He writes about how “Jesus is in a house so packed that no one can come through the door anymore. So the people open the roof and lower this paralytic down through it, so Jesus can heal him. The focus of the story is, understandably, the healing of the paralytic. But there is something more significant than that happening here. They're ripping the roof off the place, and those outside are being let in. “


We’re tearing the roof off for each other.  And while we can always do more, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that. By staying in, you’re tearing the roof off. By washing your hands, you’re tearing the roof off. By checking on your friends and family, you’re tearing the roof off. In the moments when it feels small or hopeless, I hope you look up. Beyond the ceiling of your apartment or your house, is the open sky. And someone, because of you- the loving, compassionate You, is finding some sense of healing. 


And, hey, who’s to say the one being lowered into the house isn’t you? If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout this process, it’s that we’re not separated between the healers, the paralyzed man, and the townspeople. We’re all vulnerable. Undoubtedly, some of us can see ourselves- and the people whom we love- in one of these roles more than the others. But, under the surface, we all hold the role of healer, wounded, helper, etc. The ways in which we are interconnected are constantly changing, but the one thing that remains true is that we need each other. 


So, from my whole being, this is my last little offering: I see you. This is hard stuff; to say you’re doing great is an understatement. Keep going. Rest when you want to. Then, keep going. We need you.


*Group hug*

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