I am an introvert and an enneagram one. Before our current mandated “social distancing,” I used to retreat to my home anyway from the demands of social gatherings in which I usually felt like a bumbling misfit.

Even in high school, during the boisterous lunch periods, I chose to escape. My favorite spot was a cubbyhole on the landing of a stairwell between the band hall and the gym overlooking a wide picture window. This spot was also the out-of-the-way storage for the gymnastic tumbling mats. My isolated yet not claustrophobic hidey-hole served me well. I could comfortably read, study, and check on my ever-present daily to-do list assuring myself that I was prepared for the rest of the day.

As you can tell, isolation has always been my friend and not something to dread! However, today, I miss my friends and family, even though we check in on each other daily. I miss hugs. I’m not referring to the perfunctory Southern variety, but the all-encompassing bear hugs of my big ‘ol sons, the reassuring bone-deep hugs of my sweetheart, the drive-by spontaneous grandchildren hugs, and the affirming hugs of friendship after a satisfying one-on-one, in-person conversation and a shared meal.

I’m struggling to find satisfaction in accomplishing whatever is on my daily goal list if I don’t have my community with which to share. Facebook is to be lauded at this time of social deprivation, but it isn’t sufficient to meet our mutual social needs, no matter if we are introverts or extraverts.

It’s all well and good to say that we need to use this time to be spiritually reflective, eternally grateful, and home-based industrious. I am practising all of these. Nevertheless, virtual hugs are not cutting it for me! I need the real thing! Just saying, “I’m longing to be with you again!”

How are you receiving a virtual hug today?

…I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.

2 Timothy 1:4

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