There’s nothing like a good, solid hug to spread the love. That became abundantly clear when members of a Texas church attended the Austin Pride Parade over the weekend to give out free hugs to the the LGBTQ community, and were met with an overwhelmingly emotional response. Mother and blogger Jen Hatmaker captured the tender moments on her Instagram, and the reactions will leave you in tears.
“My beloved little church went downtown to the #AustinPrideParade and gave out Free Mom Hugs, Free Dad Hugs, Free Grana Hugs, and Free Pastor Hugs like it was our paying jobs. And when I say hugs, I mean THE KIND A MAMA GIVES HER BELOVED KID.
Our arms were never empty. We ‘happy hugged’ a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I’d spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms. These were the dear hearts who said:
‘I miss this.’
‘My mom doesn’t love me anymore.’
‘My Dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years.’
‘Please just one more hug.’
You can only imagine what ‘Pastor Hugs’ did to folks. So we told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious. And we hugged until our arms fell off. This is what we are doing here, what we are here for.
The last pic is what you look like at the end of Pride covered in glitter, sweat, and more than a few tears.
Thanks to Sara Cunningham and the Free Mom Hugs tribe for the wonderful inspiration.”