Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Gift Of Life

We all understand that death is inevitable and that our impact on earth depends on how we spend our lives. Sometimes, our passing impacts others in a much different manner than our living years! This is from January of 2008.

I think I'm an organ donor. At some time in the past, I expressed my wish to be one. I thought it was listed on my driver's license but there is no outward mention of it that can be deciphered to the naked eye. Science has come so far! The fact that the death of one can mean life to others is amazing. Our family has not benefited from organ donation with the exception of my wonderful niece, Meagan. Playing junior varsity basketball as a freshman at Oklahoma Christian University, Meagan tore her anterior cruciate ligament and required surgery. The surgeon implanted a donor ligament in her leg from a cadaver and Meagan was able to resume normal physical activities after rehabilitation.

Yesterday, I was getting dressed and turned on the television t0 Channel 11, Houston's CBS affiliate. My attention was drawn to one of those human interest stories that don't really qualify as news but are shown with increasing regularity. As is the case in the best of these pieces, the characters were normal people, not be distinguishable in a crowd. As also is often the case, they were drawn together by circumstances that none could have predicted. Two years ago, a young lady was killed in a car accident in the Houston area. The woman, who appeared to have been her twenties, made the decision to be a donor. Her liver, kidney, and heart were transplanted into three recipients on waiting lists. In itself, that was not extraordinary. What made this story special was a recent get-together. The still grieving parents of the young lady arranged to meet the patients who received their daughter's organs and allowed it to be filmed. It was one of the most emotional events I've witnessed on television, helping restore my faith in the media. The parents and the beneficiaries hugged, wept, and whispered "I love you!" to complete strangers. The most poignant moment was when a nurse asked if the mother and father would like to hear their daughter's heart, still beating in the body of another. They did. I choked up as they listened to the medical evidence that their daughter was responsible, in a sense, for the very pulse of another human being. It was interesting that the young lady and those who now possess her kidney, liver, and heart are of different races. Apparently we make more of color than our vital organs do.

There are many lessons from that TV piece. Good can come from bad. Tragedy can build bonds between strangers. Our life can matter even in death. This is my favorite: someone had to die for those three to live. Without a choice that a stranger made, those three might not still be in the land of the living. Jesus made that same choice for us. We must decide whether his gift is one we will accept and embrace or reject. What if the recipients refused the chance for life? It happens everyday in the spiritual realm. Jesus said he came to bring life to those who believe but, like those organs, it is a gift that we take or leave. In many ways, I can't envision God the Father. Maybe his emotions resemble that earthly father who witnessed new life coming from the death of his child. He knew his offspring didn't die in vain. Our Father in Heaven can say the same.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Be an organ donor. Give your heart to Jesus!"
Bumper Sticker

God bless,
Steve (Organ Donor)
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Jon said...

Way to go

Lon Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.