You may have never heard of Wanda B. Goines of Cave Junction, Oregon. She passed away in 2016, but her legacy lives on — not just through her descendants, but also in her beautiful artwork and poetry. She devoted her life to creating.
She was a beloved mother to eight children, a grand-mother to fifteen, and a great-grandmother of four. She was deeply religious and developed and wrote many Bible studies over the years. She was an accomplished artist, illustrator, and poet. Her oldest son is well-known artist David Lance Goines, who said his mother is the only art teacher he ever had.
When Wanda was 92 years old she wrote a poem on growing old and what is truly important in life. It is called “The Gift Wrap & The Jewel”. She gained the attention of many on the internet when her caregiver uploaded a video of her reciting this poem onto Facebook — it went viral.
The poem has an inspiring message and is a poignant reminder that it’s not the outward appearance of aging that counts — it’s what resides inside each person that matters. It is a reminder to let one’s kindness to others radiate outward, showing gratitude not only to the Lord and to others, but to oneself as well. Share the “jewel” that is uniquely yours!
THE GIFT WRAP & THE JEWEL -Wanda B. Goines
I looked in the mirror and what did I see, but a little old lady peering back at me.
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair, and I asked my reflection,
"How did you get there?"
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique.
My reflection’s eyes twinkled and she solemnly replied,
"You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside,
a living gem and precious of unimagined worth,
unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth.
The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel
should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel.
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out,
on being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout.
Then, when your gift wrap’s stripped away, your jewel will be set free
to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity!"
The many wrinkles, sags and seemingly unpleasant things that can happen to our bodies as we age are not important. The message is also a reminder that aging is not something that all of us are afforded; it is important that we cherish ourselves and our lives.
This is the website to hear Wanda recite the poem she wrote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YxCR2a-sxI.
It is certain to move you in a very powerful way.
To age gracefully we need to do it with the Lord by our side. Every day we live is an opportunity to know Him more. The most exciting part is that God never ages and never changes! He remains the same beautiful, loving, complex, simple, exciting, peaceful, saving God that he has always been. Regardless of your age, there is a jewel inside of you. Remember to let it radiate out to others.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 2 Corinthians 4:16 MSG
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:26 NLT
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 NLT
The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. Proverbs 20:29 NLT
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young. -Theodore Roosevelt
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. -Mark Twain