The world needs more hugs. That is what I noticed while walking around campus with my spiritual brother and friend, Philip Watkins. Last weekend, I went to visit Philip at his college in Florida. Philip is an amazing person with a huge capacity to love others and show affection. This includes seemingly complete strangers.
It was cool to meet some of Philip’s friends and just to spend some quality time with him. Although he is still getting settled at Southeastern University, I can see that he had already developed some relationships and brought his own unique style to the campus.
Philip is one of those guys who has never met a stranger. While driving me to the airport, Philip admitted that when he first met many of the guys on campus they offered to shake his hand but kept their distance. Philip told me that he said to them, “I don’t shake hands. I hug.”
I can just see him going past the outstretched hand and embracing people. While some may consider it strange, I find it refreshing because many people in the world just need a good hug. Philip had obviously had an impact on his friends because a number of guys came up and gave him big hugs. I could see his imprint on their interaction.
When I first came off the plane, I wanted to be discrete in the airport. Philip would have none of it. He hugged me and looked at my outstretched hand with a curious grin. I could see him thinking, “What’s that for. Brothers hug. They don’t shake hands.”
Philip was right. Brothers do hug. I think that I miss him already.
I enjoyed my time with Philip. I can see that he has a hard semester ahead of him. But I believe the Lord will bless his commitments. I am proud of him. All his family and friends care for him very much. And I know that he will make the world a better place because he is willing to come close when so many want to keep others at least an arm’s length away.
You can read more about Philip’s exploits at http://web.mac.com/philipwatkins/iWeb/philip_watkins/Blog/Blog.html