Last year I came across a post by our local news announcing upcoming blood donation clinics in the new year. I recognized one clinic was going to be right across the street from us, and Vini and I decided to go. Both of us have family members that are regular donors and we had been wanting to join in, so what better opportunity than the new year!
The first time we donated was on a really really cold day in January. We had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t make an appointment, didn’t fill out any information beforehand, but the nurses were nice to us and we had as good a time as possible.
At the end of April, we went back. This time, we had our donor cards, filled out our information online, and were just total pros.
When you donate blood and you’re sitting in that chair watching (or artfully looking away) from your blood flowing into that bag, you can’t help but collide with the significance of what’s happening.
Have you ever watched medical shows? Next time there’s an emergency or a surgery, and they have to do a blood transfusion, notice how many units of blood they ask for. It’s never just one. It’s a lot.
Knowing that you’re helping someone can make you feel pretty good, right? Here’s the thing with that, though. No matter what the pamphlets say, you don’t really know who you’re helping.
That’s a beautiful thing about the work of nurses, first responders, doctors, and, yes, even donors*. As a donor, you are helping the person that needs the blood transfusion. You’re helping the car crash victim, you’re also helping the drunk driver. Your blood can help an innocent child, and it can also be given to a criminal with a terrifying past. There’s beauty in doing good without looking to whom. Remind you of anyone?
There’s truth to Isaiah’s statement that even our good deeds are filthy rags. When we donate blood, we feel good about helping others. I do. It’s nice to have a part in saving a life or advancing research. When we donate, we think of all the good people we are helping, the families we are saving, the life we are giving. Not only is our blood accepted when we can donate, but blood banks are always asking more people to sign up. Giving is a small inconvenience at most.
When Christ shed His blood, He knew the recipients of His sacrifice were all guilty. He knew that His blood is enough for all, but that many would not accept it. Christ’s death was a sacrifice. He didn’t die for us to feel good, but because His character is grace and love to all. To me, to you, to the best person on earth, to the worst.
That can be pretty hard to imagine. Think of the worst possible person. Christ’s blood was shed for them. But it’s also a message of hope. When you’re overcome with doubt, feeling like the worst person, unworthy, filthy…Christ’s blood was shed for you. His blood is enough. His blood is more powerful to heal than any number of blood units. It’d be sillier to refuse His saving grace than it’d be for someone in need to refuse blood. His blood is freely available to all. And that’s pretty neat.