This Texas church offered ‘free Mom hugs’ at Pride. What happened next was amazing.

Jen Hatmaker gives a "mom hug" at Austin PridePhoto: Instagram

A church in Texas gave away free “mom hugs” and “dad hugs” this weekend at a Pride parade.

Jen Hatmaker, a conservative blogger who was unceremoniously kicked out of the Christian media world because she opposed Donald Trump’s election and supports LGBTQ equality, posted on Instagram about what her “beloved little church” was doing to spread the love at Austin Pride.

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My beloved little church went downtown to the #AustinPrideParade and gave out Free Mom Hugs, Free Dad Hugs, Free Grana Hugs, and Free Pastor Hugs like it was our paying jobs. And when I say hugs, I mean THE KIND A MAMA GIVES HER BELOVED KID. . Our arms were never empty. We “happy hugged” a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I’d spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms. These were the dear hearts who said: . “I miss this.” “My mom doesn’t love me anymore.” “My Dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years.” “Please just one more hug.” . You can only imagine what “Pastor Hugs” did to folks. 😭 So we told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious. And we hugged until our arms fell off. This is what we are doing here, what we are here for. . The last pic is what you look like at the end of Pride covered in glitter, sweat, and more than a few tears. . Thanks to Sara Cunningham and the @freemomhugs tribe for the wonderful inspiration.

A post shared by Jen Hatmaker (@jenhatmaker) on

Members of the Austin New Church went down to the Pride celebration and offered “Free Mom Hugs, Free Dad Hugs, Free Grana Hugs, and Free Pastor Hugs.”

Free Hugs
Instagram/Jen Hatmaker

“And when I say hugs, I mean THE KIND A MAMA GIVES HER BELOVED KID,” Hatmaker wrote.

Free Hugs
Instagram/Jen Hatmaker

And just like anyone who goes to an LGBTQ space and offers unconditional love, the members of the Austin New Church heard terrible stories.

These were the dear hearts who said:

“I miss this.”
“My mom doesn’t love me anymore.”
“My Dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years.”
“Please just one more hug.”

“So we told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious,” Hatmaker wrote. “And we hugged until our arms fell off. This is what we are doing here, what we are here for.”

It’s too common for LGBTQ people to have not-so-great relationships with their parents, and too many churches spend time hating LGBTQ people instead of loving them.

An open heart and some love can go a long way to healing old wounds.

Free Hugs
Instagram/Jen Hatmaker

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