Hugs and Prayers

I believe if there was more hugging, praying and listening to one another, there would be less hatred, bigotry, judgment, and violence. It is very difficult to hug and pray for someone and continue to hate them or fear them. You see them as they truly are, a person, just like you, with faults, foibles, gifts and goodness. (Yes, I believe there is some goodness in every person on earth. Every person.) If you actually listen to people, most of the time you will find they want the same things you want: love, safety, security, acceptance, and…love again! We’re all different people, but all people nonetheless. So, the next time you’re tempted to tell someone off, hate someone because of their ethnicity or different viewpoint or lifestyle, or worse, take a deep breath, remember they are human just like you, give them a hug either in actuality or in your heart, and say a prayer for them. Jesus said to pray for your enemies and to love one another. I think a lot of good things could come from following those instructions and examples that He gave of that. (Have you ever noticed that what Jesus taught and Jesus did were completely the same?)

Do you think hugs are too simplistic or that people won’t accept them well? Here are a few instances that reveal the error of that idea.

*One day at a grocery store, a complete stranger, an older woman, came up to me, started talking to me, and by the end of the conversation we were hugging and loving one another like long lost relatives. She was old, lonely, and just needed some love and attention. Okay, I’ll come clean, this wasn’t a one time event. It happens to me all the time! I think I must have a sign on my back that says, “Need a hug? Come to me!” Hahaha!

*At a job I had at the Texas Tech medical school, one day a young man who was HUGE, but greatly mentally challenged, broke free from his caregivers and charged down the hall at me yelling, “Want to bite! Want to bite!” He ran into my office, grabbed me by the arm and raised it towards his face as though he was going to bite my arm. (I was terrified! He could have bitten my arm in two. He was that big.) I patted him on his arm and gave him a gentle hug and said, “You don’t really want to bite me, do you? My name is Elaine. Did you know that God loves you?” He put my arm down, returned my hug in a nearly rib-cracking manner and apologized right before his caregivers caught up to me. He was calm for the remainder of his visit and kept repeating, “God loves me! God loves me!”

*As a final example among hundreds, one day I came across a young man who was obviously a criminal, a drug dealer, a gang leader. It was a highly charged, scary situation. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time quite by coincidence. There were other young men with him and all looked like they’d just as soon injure me as look at me. To this day I don’t know why I did this, but I believe the Holy Spirit took me over because I walked up to this scary looking big gang member and gave him a hug and told him God love him. He grasped me to him, hid his face in my shoulder and started crying! I’m not talking a little bit of tears. I’m talking body wracking sobs. He was trying to hide this from his fellow gang members, but whispered to me, “Do you really think God loves me after all I’ve done?” I assured him that God did love him, even now. Then I said something my Grandmother Gill used to say, “It’s time to come back to God’s country.” He shook his head in agreement, asked me to give him a moment to compose himself and thanked me as he let me go.

These are but a few examples of all the people I’ve met in life who just needed a hug and a reminder that they were loved by God, if no one else, and that they mattered. Now, I’m not suggesting you go up to a stranger on the street and give them a hug without asking. I am suggesting that when opportunities arise to give a hug or even a pat on the shoulder…take it! Pray for these people! Remember them and keep praying for them! We’re all humans who need love, even if we’re all different from each other. Thank God we’re all different from each other and have such variety! How boring would an entire world of Elaines be? Ugh! Actually, the world would fall apart if everyone were like me because although I’m a hugger, prayer, and lover of people, we also need accountants, doctors, lawyers, garbage collectors, mechanics, engineers, peacekeepers, artists, judges, factory workers and even politicians to keep the world running properly and with beauty. Ever single one of those people, though, needs love, or at the various least, respect. So, love, pray, hug.

Peace and love, always,

Elaine

1 Corinthians 13:1-8
The Greatest Gift
​ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

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Sunbeams|NaPoWriMo Day 17

Twenty years ago today,
the Oklahoma bombing
occurred and a tornado
was headed towards
my sons’ school
that same afternoon.

I was at work and
could do nothing
about either situation.

I was a basket case,
heartbroken,
terrified, and worn out.

My fiance’ picked
me up from work.

My boys were safe
and happy,
eyes shining.

At home,
on the kitchen table,
was a bright yellow
sunshine cake
that my boyfriend
had made to
cheer me up.

St. Francis said,
“A single sunbeam
is strong enough
to drive away
many shadows.”

That cake was a
single sunbeam
for me that day.

The hug my boyfriend
gave me then also
was so sweet that
I could feel the
sadness leave
my body.

The day was still
tragic, but when we
share bad days
with ones we love,
when the sun
comes up the next morning,
we’re better able to
get up with it.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/19/15


I’ve been a little behind on poem writing the past couple of days, but I’ll be caught up by tomorrow evening I think. The prompt for day 17 was to write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat. You might end up with a poem that seems bizarrely solipsistic (like the internet itself, maybe?), but there might also be a spark there of something live and fun and present (like the verbal equivalent of a really great animated cat .gif).

I must admit I did look at FB posts from today and between some of those posts, my own memories, and the great quote from St. Francis, this poem was born. I didn’t follow the prompt quite, but, I like what this poem says. I hope you do too.

Let Us Love One Another and Then…Let’s Eat Chocolate!!

This felt like me today for sure! I didn’t fall, but I felt like I had been run over by a mack truck this morning. I hurt, I felt mean, and I was jittery as that squirrel on Hoodwinked with coffee. I took my husband to work because I needed the car for a lunch date and when I got back home, I realized that I hadn’t taken my medicine last night! I don’t know why I do that sometimes! I only take five kinds of medicine, but they’re for fibromyalgia, hypertension, and estrogen replacement. If I don’t take them, even for one night, the repercussions are immediate and painful.

The moment I realized I hadn’t taken my medicine, I went and took the medicines I could that wouldn’t knock me out (I thought), and ate some breakfast. I returned to reading a book. I was supposed to be at my former workplace at 11:00 so I had a couple of hours to get ready and drive over there. I woke up at 11:20!! I hurriedly threw on some clothes and hit the road. At a red light, I texted my friend to let her know I was running late. I was a mess! Trying to wake up, fight anxiety, and get all the way across town. I still was hurting some, but by golly, I wasn’t going to let it get me down!

One of the reasons I visit my former workplace is that I love so many of my former coworkers. I’m not talking about, “hey, I love ya man” love. I’m talking, I really care and love these people deeply. They’re some of my best friends I’ve made here in Colorado Springs. They’re really good people and some of them lately have been going through some really tough challenges of all kinds. I can’t do as much for people as I did in the past because of the weakness, fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia. I hate that aspect of not feeling well. However, God has shown me that I’m not helpless or worthless. I can still pray, encourage and support my friends. I can go to them, listen to them, and hug them. (My specialty is hugs. I know that sounds goofy, but I feel like I can transmit my love best by hugs.) So, I went to lunch with one of my friends and we had a great time, even if I was late! I got to see some of my favorite people, give hugs, share love, and so…today became a good day!

It became even better when I came home and found out that one of my fellow bloggers here on WordPress, https://sailingpenguin.wordpress.com/, had nominated me for the Creative Blogger award!! (Tomorrow I will be nominating some of the blogs I follow and truly appreciate for this award as well!)

I feel so honored that she liked my blog enough to nominate me for this award and to bring more attention to my blog. It made my day! Thanks so much Nicky, for the nomination! I truly appreciate it.

So, now I will hush. I’ve talked too long, a frequent problem I have and for which I apologize. I just wanted to remind all my friends, family and readers that, even if a day starts out really rough, if we hurt physically, emotionally, or mentally, if we pray and keep our faith, spend time with people we love and who love us, and share hugs (even better), our day can improve exponentially! NOW I NEED CHOCOLATE!!

Peace and love, always,

Elaine

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 1 John 4:7-9