“You may now be seated. Please hug someone before you sit down.”
Like a grenade of intimacy, a worship leader at church threw those two sentences out into the crowd at church three weeks ago.
I paused, mid crouch. Not standing, not sitting, not knowing what to do. When a worship leader tells you to do something, it’s kind of like “Worship Simon Says.” You say sit down. I’m sitting down. You say turn to a certain hymn. I’m turning there. You say greet your neighbor. I’ll greet my neighbor.
But a hug?
That was a bit of a curveball.
In that moment, I had mere seconds to execute one of 4 possible moves:
1. Hug my wife
I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count. When the worship leader said “Hug someone,” she definitely meant someone you didn’t know that well. Plus, my wife and I already hug after each song and then play a game called “Jon tries to kiss Jenny on the mouth in public to embarrass her.” So this move was out.
2. Side hug
I stopped side hugging for free once we put the side hug on the cover of the Stuff Christians Like book. Now I charge a $1.25 per side hug, or a stick of licorice if you’ve got it. Side hug was out.
3. Front hug
I assume handshake or side hug in most social situations with complete strangers. Some people, especially a first-time visitor, might greet my front hug with a Liam Neeson throat chop. Couldn’t do this.
4. Front hug with a single leg wrap
Probably too much, too soon. Probably.
In the time it takes a hummingbird to disappear after you’ve told somebody, “Look at that, it’s a hummingbird!” I made my decision. What did I do?
I punched the guy sitting next to me on the arm and said “Hey man, glad you’re here!” He laughed, and then with his eyes said, “Hey, thanks for not front hugging me with a single leg wrap.”
All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good morning.
What would you have done in that same situation?