While waiting to exit the plane in Minneapolis yesterday a little girl (turning six next week) with a floppy, fluffy lion backpack stands behind me. Attached to the permanently-hugging lion is Clifford the Big Red Dog. The tiny thinking people at my internal coffee table look at each other and chuckle. I ask the girl if the dog and the lion are friends. “Yes, they are,” she answers. “Do they talk to each other?” “Yes, they do,” she replies. “Wow. That’s great! Have they always been friends?” “YES!” she says. “The dog wasn’t scared of the lion at first, then?”  “No.” she says emphatically. “So, you didn’t have to teach them to be friends, it came naturally and easily?” “Yes! It came naturally,” she said, enunciating “naturally” and thereby deepening her command of the word and its meaning. “That’s amazing!” I smiled. She looked off in the distance, into her thoughts. I pondered how the Holy Spirit must like this moment, this lion and dog image, the natural harmony; and how the lion was hugging the girl, much like how the Lion of Judah is always hugging me.

I love prophetic images; and I’m struck by the friendliness of such a fierce creature on a child’s back: both protector and friend. I also like how the dog and lion got along easily: YES! “enemies” turned friends. I feel my spirit swoon; the swoon stirs a gentle murmur – as I feel the vibrations more intentionally I realize it’s not merely a murmur, but a roar. . .

a roar that hugs the world to life.

the lion who always hugs

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