I’ve never really been able to stomach needles.
Perhaps the aversion developed after my abdominal surgery when I was four. I distinctly remember having band-aids on every one of my fingers and begging them to leave. me. alone. Maybe it was the 14 years following of blood draws, ultrasounds, and prodding that was required, or maybe that nasty Hepatitis vaccine when I was 6. Whatever it was, by the time I hit 5th grade, the “Know your blood type” unit pushed me over the edge. One stick of Mrs. Steinbauer’s finger and that drop of blood falling onto the overhead transparency and I passed out cold. I woke up just in time to vomit on her shoes.
I’m A positive. By the way.
Fast forward to college. I was an active member of Moody’s Student Council and one of our fall activities was a student body Blood Drive with the Red Cross. Like most responsibilities, I took the job of recruiting donors rather seriously. I was amazed at how few people were willing to donate blood. I’d always been told I could sell ice to Eskimos and there I was with miserably few slots on my form signed. Truth be told, I was selling something I didn’t really want to do either. The time came when I sat in that chair, filled out the forms and heard that dreaded cap pop off the needle. I tend to dig the fingernails on my right hand into my palm and focus on that hand while evidence of my life drips.
The door closed on my ability to donate blood not that long ago. Following my diagnosis with Graves Disease (don’t let the name throw you- it is just a thyroid condition), my doctor told me that I should no longer donate blood. It’s almost comical actually. Now, I have blood drawn all the time, don’t flinch a bit when they stick me and I’m no longer permitted.
Truthfully, the memory of my first blood donation had been long buried when the dust blew off a couple days ago while I was visiting my precious friend, Ryan, at the Cancer Treatment Center in Chicago. I watched blood flow from a bag into a port in his chest and praised God that someone had given that blood. It enabled Ryan to spend one more day glorifying God with every breath he takes. Ten years ago I watched blood drip into Mandy and prayed that God would strengthen her very weak body after a major surgery. Not only did he spare my forever friend, but He has given her an amazing testimony of His faithfulness. And the Spirit pressed into my heart again.
We will never know the name of the person who shared their blood with my friends. Never. But it was life to them both.
The same is true of many other seemingly small acts of service. The shoebox packed at Christmas time that drew a child on the other side of the world into a service where he heard the name of Christ.
The man. My father in law. Who folds the bulletins for church every week.
The lady who rocked the baby in the nursery while the tired Mama’s soul was refreshed.
The $5 bill out the window to the woman on the corner. The bag of groceries left on the doorstep.
IT MATTERS. IT MATTERS. IT MATTERS.
You see, Scripture tells us that whatever we do in word or in deed to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Colossians 3:17). And we can KNOW that it matters. It will never be faceless to Him. He will take those “small” acts of service and make them into a useful, beautiful, honorable act of worship unto the Lord.
Thank you. Whoever gave that blood, wherever you are…….it was no small service. Jesus looks beautiful shining through my friends because of you.