Christmas Time Is Here

Christmas time is here,
meant to be full of good cheer.
There are those, full of woe,
that find it hard and
full of sorrow.

We miss the ones we’ve lost,
so much more at Christmas.
We remember times of joy
and fun,
times of love with everyone.

Then the ache of sorrow,
slowly fills our hearts,
creating such pain,
we’re not sure we’ll ever,
celebrate again.

If only those so joyful,
could share their hearts
and arms with those,
whose hearts are full of pain,
think of how much better
we could make their
world again.

So if you see someone silent,
during the holiday gaiety,
someone with their head
bowed low, with little joy
or levity,
take a moment,
lend your ear, your arms,
your hearts in
loving solidarity.

Give your love this season,
because, it is for this a babe
was born that night,
to show the world that
God so loves the world,
He sent His only son.
God lent His ear, His arms,
His heart in loving oh so bright.

Christmas time is here,
bring the world some cheer.
Christmas time is here,
lend your hearts, your arms,
your ears.

For Christmas time is here…

D. E. Wood-Lane
12/18/17

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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.

Foot Washing and Love

Ok, this may sound a little weird, but hang with me for just a little bit. I’ve been away from my home for 16 days, in other countries, having the time of my life. I left behind one of the very best friends I’ve ever had in my life and he only weighs 12 pounds on a heavy day. This little best friend is my pet Chihuahua mix breed dog, Buddy. Buddy is ten years old and I’ve had him for all of but five months of those ten years. I found him freezing cold and starving at a truck stop the day after Christmas, 2005. I ended up not being able to resist picking him up and thought I was taking him to the Humane Society in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but instead took him into my heart. I’ve missed the little guy since we were over in western Europe, but knew he was missing me probably even more. He tends to do that when I’m gone. We’re pretty attached to each other I guess. So, that’s the first part of this story.

The second part of this story is that I have a lot of foot, leg, hip, and back pain when I’m on my feet for very long. (That is part of my fibromyalgia/arthritis issues.) Also, I have very, very dry feet so it’s not uncommon for my feet, especially my heels, to crack and bleed when I’m on them for any length of time. I’ve tried all the cures known to doctors and Pinterest, but without a lot of success. While we were on our trip, we walked and walked and walked and…you get the picture. Considering how much we walked, I did really well until the last two or three days. Somewhere in the Louvre my feet, etc. decided they were done and I started hurting. Last night by the time we got to the hotel in Boston after a full 20 hours of walking in airports and flying across the Atlantic, I took off my shoes and my feet had been bleeding without me even realizing it.

Now comes the third part of the story. Today we finally arrived home and my Buddy went nuts with excitement! He was SO happy to see me that he nearly licked my chin and cheeks right off. (He knows he isn’t allowed to lick me on the mouth, but my chin is fair game! Ha!) Anyway, I was sitting in my chair, going through the mountain of mail I received while we were gone and suddenly I notice that Buddy is licking my foot. I look down and once again my feet had cracked and bled. I tried to stop Buddy from licking my feet, but he looked up at me with such a look of love and devotion, I let him continue. He completely, entirely cleaned up my ugly, swollen, cracked feet. I know this sounds gross, but it was really very reviving. Then he climbed into his favorite position by my side in our chair and fell asleep.

So, where am I going with this? As Buddy fell asleep by my side, I suddenly thought of the following story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet before the last supper they would ever have together:

John 13:3-8
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

I’ve read this story hundreds of times, heard sermons and bible studies devoted to it, and often wondered how Jesus could wash someone else’s dirty, gross feet when they walked everywhere they went. I especially wondered this in light of the fact that Jesus is God’s son and by all rights should have asked his disciples to wash his feet. He was about to give up his life for them and the world and yet he washed their feet? That always completely blew my mind and baffled me. I’ve always thought he was demonstrating a servant’s attitude to them so they would know how to be with others after he was gone. Jesus said, though, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

When Buddy was washing my feet earlier and looked up at me with so much love and devotion, I finally got it! I am Buddy’s person. I belong to him. He loves me with a depth of devotion that we don’t see often in this life. Jesus was telling his disciples they are his. They, and we, belong to Jesus. He loves us with a depth of devotion we can’t even begin to fathom.

Yes, Jesus died for us, but he also loves us so much that he would wash our feet just as he washed the disciples’ feet. All of us who’ve read stories or seen movies where the hero dies for his/her soul mate, best friend, fellow soldiers, country or ideals understand that concept. It’s the ultimate sacrifice, right? Ok, how many of those same heroes would wash others’ dirty, smelly, cracked, bleeding feet though? Jesus did and Jesus would.

For the record, I’m not saying Buddy is equal to Jesus, obviously. Dogs do exhibit a lot of love and devotion to their “people,” however, that people don’t sometimes. I think it’s remarkable that the Son of God was/is willing to lower himself to the same level as a little Chihuahua dog, though, to show his love and devotion to us. Jesus is crazy about us and there isn’t anything he won’t do to prove it.

With that, this jet-lagged nut is going to rest for a while.

Peace and love, always, Elaine

Walking Among the Seasons|NaPoWriMo Day 29

My love and I wander along
the rose path of life,
sweet smelling, but also
bearing possible thorns.

We walk on through
the full summer night.
Moon shines on the ancient mountain
and we hear the murmur of the river
behind us.

We are quiet, but
slowly, a happy seed blossoms,
which will grow between our spirits
and will be seen in full bloom
in the summers of our future.

Then, God willing,
we will walk together through
colorful fall leaves,
and sacred, pure white snow,
before finally moving onto
the azure heavens,
where we will finally
get to meet Him together.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/29/15



The suggestion for today’s poem was to write a review in poetry form. I wasn’t too inspired to write a review so I decided to go another way where my thoughts have wandered lately. I think I might have spring fever!

Only one more day of daily poems to go! I’m hoping to keep up the momentum, however, and write on a more regular basis than I was before. I feel that my writing poetry muscle has been toned up and I don’t want to let it get flabby again!

Tomorrow is Poetry In My Pocket day. Look here for information on what it is and how you can participate! http://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/poem-your-pocket-day?gclid=CP2m2LC0lsUCFdgDgQodk2EA3A

Peace and love,

Elaine

Money and Henry the Rooster–NaPoWriMo Day 7

Money. Simple money.
Figures on a bank app
show we have enough.
Enough to pay our bills,
buy our food, and even,
fortunately, and thank God,
enough to share with others.

Are we rich? No.
Put us on an American class scale
and we’d tilt the scales to
middle middle class.
Not rich.
Not poor.
But somewhere in the middle.
Richer than I ever thought I’d
be on that scale, for sure.

However, money isn’t valuable.
See this rooster?

Henry the Rooster is valuable.
He has been in our family
since I was 3 years old when I
first saw him on the shelf at the
Gold Bond Stamp store.

It was my parents’ 30th anniversary
and my sister, Judy, and I were
looking for a gift for our parents.
She found useful things like
pretty drinking glasses with gold rims.
I found Henry. Henry was meant
for Mother and Daddy to celebrate
their 30 years as wife and husband.
I was sure of it and rather stubbornly
stomped my foot over him
in the Stamp Store.

Judy acquiesced to her stubborn
baby sister and we went home
that day with drinking glasses
and Henry.

My parents made much of him,
said he was just perfect.
He was then placed,
and lived for years, in a place of
honor and safety on top
of our icebox.

I grew up.
My parents grew very old, and
then slipped away to heaven.
Through it all, Henry
remained at his post loyally,
never getting broken,
always there to gaily
remind us of the great love
of two people who married,
had five children,
and stayed together until
death parted them after
66 years of marriage.

If my house caught fire today,
Would I grab jewelry?
Money? Stocks?
Photo albums? Heck no!

No, I would grab,
Henry the Rooster,
and Buddy, my little dog,
the two most valuable
possessions in my whole house.

One reminds me of my past.
One holds me steadfastly
in my present, so that
someday we’ll all be
together in the future:

Henry the now antique Rooster,
Buddy my Chihuahua, Alan my husband,
and me, the richest woman on earth
because all of my valued possessions
remind me of LOVE, the most valuable
thing on earth.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/7/15

Little Ones at Christmas

We had two of the cutest little kiddos with their grandmama bring by a Christmas goodie plate and card. They were absolutely adorable! The older child was about 4 and a beautiful little girl. The younger tyke was about about 2 and a boy. They were both wearing Santa Claus hats. The little boy was totally enchanted with our nativity scene, so much so that he tripped and nearly fell over himself, but then…save! He was fine! He didn’t even skin his knee!

Little ones are such a joy at Christmas. If God’s little one had not been born, we wouldn’t have Christmas to celebrate. We were all little ones once upon a time. We were innocent, pure, and sweet. We didn’t even know what we didn’t know.

I think God sees us as His precious little ones. We, too, no matter our age, don’t even know what we don’t know. His wisdom, strength, and love are so much greater than ours. Don’t you imagine when He sees us stumble, His breath catches in His throat and then….save! We are fine. He was with us all along. We might skin our knees, our pride, our relationships, and even our spirits sometimes, but if we reach out our little hands to Him, He will catch us….save! We are fine!