Monday, July 20, 2009
Giving Blood- The Second Experience.
I had received in the mail a postcard from the Red Cross telling of dates and locations in Eagan to donate blood. My first thought was no- but I didn’t throw the card away. I even brought the postcard and announced it at small groups if anyone wanted to donate blood here is when and where they could do it- even though I still had no intention myself of giving blood.
Tuesday morning after I had gotten home from SNAP I was sitting down to do my devotions when the phone rang. It was a woman from the Red Cross asking if I would be willing to come in and donate. The woman was a little too pushy and I was quick to refute the requests. I started whipping out all the excuses just trying to get off the phone as fast as I could. Immediately after I hung up I felt disgusted with myself and how I had acted.
I have been reading this book in the morning called, “Taste and See” by John Piper and it is 140 short meditations. So basically they are about 2 pages long of thoughts, questions, ideas, or truths to chew on. That morning I had read about Christ’s sacrifice and how Christ did that for the glory of God- not for us. Saving us through His sacrifice was in a sense a mere means to glorify God. This is not to belittle His love for us, or what He did for us- but we constantly miss the point that it was first and foremost for God.
As I began to think about that reading, I realized how giving blood is a great symbolic act to remind ourselves of Christ’s sacrifice. I mean really- lets think about this here. We live in a country that has sterile needles to jab into our arms for about ten minutes, take out a pint of blood (which our body will reproduce in a few days) that could be put into three different people and ultimately save their lives. Lives that could change the world. Lives that would get a second chance to accept Christ. Lives that are a part of the body of Christ.
When I was defending my lack of action to the Red Cross lady on the phone, I was so focused on myself that I didn’t see the need.
I read 2 Chronicles 29 and it was a great application to my situation. The kings of 2 Chronicles that fall are so focused on themselves that they don’t see the needs of the people- idol worshipping hurts not helps.
The kings that restore order see the need for God to be glorified and restore the temple and its practices.
Christ sacrificed of himself to glorify the Father through saving humanity. Is not blood donation a symbolic act of that?
Is it not a blessing God has given us the ability to physically take of ourselves and give to another?
In 2 Chronicles 29, king Ahaz had destroyed the temple of the LORD with idol worshiping- when Hezekiah became king, he stepped in and changed all that. I am sure that it took a lot of Hezekiahs own money, time and energy to restore that temple, but when a child of God sees His temple being destroyed- shouldn’t we jump to fix it- no matter what the cost, knowing it will impact/revive the people for Christ?
And now that our bodies are the temple- same thing- it may take out own money, time, and effort to get that person back on track, but it will be worth it because its God’s temple being restored for His glory. THEREFORE- if we should restore the temples of God we should give to the poor, help those who fall away, give our time, money, energy, and BLOOD.
I again saw the postcard. I signed up online. I donated blood.
The cool thing about giving blood- is you have no idea who it will ever go to. Which in my opinion makes it easier to focus on doing it for the glory of Christ than a specific person because you have no idea! All we can do is give blood and pray it makes it to the person who needs it most spiritually.
As I had a short time to prepare mentally for giving blood (not a big fan of it- makes me REALLY nervous) I prayed that God would be most glorified. Through studying Paul- I have learned that that is a scary prayer to pray because God more times than not is most glorified through out discomfort than our comfort. As soon as those words left my mouth I knew this experience would not be smooth sailing.
I had the joy (yes joy, I am not being sarcastic) of almost passing out, feeling very uncomfortable and weak, but it will not stop me from going back again. I only lost a pint and they had me lie there a long time until I felt stable enough to just sit up- how did Christ walk, let alone carry his cross after losing so much more?
My hope and prayer in all of this is that when I am in heaven someone will approach me and say, “Thank you for donating blood because I received that blood and through that gained not only physical life, but as well as a life in Christ Jesus.”