Although the lovely young Hindu woman sat at my therapy table in the rehab center where I worked, she wasn’t totally present. As her therapist, I’d been treating Uma’s elbow tendonitis for weeks but still, an invisible barrier separated us.

She seemed distracted and unengaged. Distant. Could it be our differences in religion? Culture? Politics?

As with all my patients, I’d tried to extend my heavenly Father’s love to Uma, but my efforts had bounced off a stone wall. Although she dressed in beautiful saris and matching head scarves fashioned from exquisite fabrics, her cheerless demeanor and defeated body language suggested depression.

I was unable to make an emotional connection to show her I cared.

Then one day, Uma arrived for therapy, swathed from head to toe in fine, cream-colored fabric lined with thin, brown stripes. With my signature impulsive leap of tongue before brain, I gushed, “Oh, you look like a giant Hershey’s Hug!”

By Uma’s sudden grin, I knew we’d found common ground at last. I peppered the table with my stash of Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses (not a coincidence that they’re called that) and during the following weeks, surrounded by little piles of foil wrappers, Uma gradually opened up.

Her husband’s traveling job necessitated her functioning as a single parent. All her relatives were in India. She felt exhausted, overwhelmed and lonely.

What a golden opportunity to share the hope and joy of my Jesus by loving on this new heart-friend!

As we grew closer, Uma confessed that she’d begun to question tenets of the faith into which she’d been born and expressed an interest in learning more about Christianity.

How ‘bout that — a Jesus hug generated by a chocolate hug. Who would’ve thought chocolate could be such a marvelous tool for Gospel evangelism? Hey, maybe it’s time for you and I to share some brownie love with our neighbors.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:35, NASB).

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Debora Coty
Debora M. Coty is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of over 40 books, including including the best-selling Too Blessed to Be Stressed series. Visit Debora at