My kids often say I don't cuddle them enough. I usually think that is funny, because they lay all over me almost every morning and evening. While we are cuddling, they will say, "You don't hug me enough."
I often reply, "What do you mean? We're hugging right now!"
Then Mariel, who complains about it most frequently, will try to explain that what we are doing right that minute is just not enough, and her explanation will be inadequate to express what she means.
Tonight I hope I figured it out.
There is a hug that provides a shelter for your loved one-- it is a hug that says, "I will stay right here while you deal with whatever you are dealing with. I will not walk away. Nothing is more important than being with you right now. I may not be able to alleviate your burden, but I will be here while you bear it, and I love you no matter what."
Sometimes you can provide that shelter without even hugging, by a touch or a look. But hugs are the best.
It makes me think of the Lord inviting us to run and hide in Him when we are beseiged. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, [who is worthy] to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3)
We are not the Lord and cannot provide His level of comfort, but we are given to one another to help build each other up. "Two are better than one."
Samwise Gamgee understood this when, as they climbed Mount Doom, he told Frodo, "I may not be able to carry the Ring, but I can carry you!"
(I'm paraphrasing. It's late, and I am not going to look up the exact quote.)
I love to fly to the Rock that is higher than I, to rest in the rifted Rock. His merciful love strengthens me. And we can be a little reflection of the Lord's strength and love to each other, if we pay attention to the struggles and burdens of our loved ones and stop to provide that shelter along the way. A 'rock hug' is a reminder of One who truly can and does protect and shelter us through our trials.
Lord, let me never forget it.