Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Nothing But the Blood
I almost cut my thumb off when I was in college. The shock of seeing my hand at that moment still haunts me. Blood is blood...but it isn't. The following is from 2-26-06.
We had a blood drive at Westbury church of Christ today. One of our deacons, Gary Keese, made an impassioned plea for donors. Our congregation has a long history of giving blood but apparently our efforts are down from past years. Gary gave stats for us to consider. Only 4-5% of those eligible give the gift of life and each pint helps three to five people who need blood. We had plenty of time slots available for this afternoon's session so Jon Thompson, who oversees the program, stood at the back of the auditorium with his clipboard. I feel guilty when I don't participate in giving blood but there is a reason- they won't take it. The last time I went in, I made it through the questionnaire phase. There was an interview and I was flying until the following question: "Have you been outside the United States in the past twelve months?" I answered in the affirmative. The lady asked what my destination had been; I replied that I go on a yearly mission to Honduras. She closed her clipboard and said, "I'm sorry." She explained that Honduras is on a list of countries that expose travelers to certain diseases; I think it was malaria or hepatitis, or maybe both. The crux of her denying my donation is this; my blood is tainted. I have never been sick but that is not the point. Whoever got a transfusion from me would be at risk. My blood does no one any good but myself.
I remember when the AIDS scare began. It made a big impact on high school athletics in the short term. We had state mandated meetings on the proper way to handle blood. We were NEVER to touch a bleeding player without wearing gloves, kept at court side. We also kept an AIDS bottle on the bench, which was simply a spray container with a solution of 90% water/10% bleach. If blood spilled on the floor, we immediately washed it down. As time went by, the hysteria wore off and we stopped being so careful. It doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. Do you know what blood type I am? That makes two of us; I don't know either. Somewhere, I have it printed on a medical card they gave my parents when I was born but I'm not positive where it is. I've never had a blood transfusion in my life and hope I never have to. That doesn't mean I haven't required blood to save me. God told the Israelites from early times that life was in blood. Forgiveness of sins for the Jewish people included the shedding of blood through animal sacrifices. When the time was right, God sent his Son to the world to willingly give up his blood for the redemption of the human race. I have been exposed to malaria, hepatitis, and maybe even polio when I went to Haiti but I have been infected with a plague more sinister and deadly. I've been exposed to sin. My blood is worthless but the blood of Jesus is priceless, perfect, and his own words, "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:28) I could give blood if I gave up mission trips but I'm not willing to do that. What I can do in foreign lands is tell of the greatest blood donor of all. My pint might help several who are physically endangered. His blood can deliver mankind from the deathbed of evil. The Messiah told his detractors that the ones who require medical attention are the sick, not the healthy. We refer to Jesus by many titles but one seems especially appropriate today-The Great Physician.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life's blood. But everyone has something to give."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 7:57 PM