“Are you going to donate?” a friend asked me as she entered our high-school library, which was doubling as the site of our blood drive that day.
I shook my head at my friend. “I can’t. I don’t weigh enough.” “Great excuse,” she smiled. “Didn’t the student council organize this? And aren’t you on the student council?”
I nodded. “That’s why I’ll be working the blood drive all day. So if you’re planning to donate, I’ll get your juice and crackers ready for you.”
Throughout the day, many of my friends and classmates came into the library to donate blood. Our class had recently lost one of our own to leukemia, just months before graduation. It left all of us longing to do something, and it bothered me that my slight stature prevented me from donating.
One of my closest friends was terrified of needles, but she was determined not to let her fear stop her from donating. I held her hand and said a silent prayer as the nurse drew blood.
Sharing the News
During a lull that afternoon, I chatted with Terri, the nurse.
“I’m really glad we’re doing this. Losing Tom was so hard on our class. Many of us had known him since grade school.”
Terri nodded. “That’s got to be difficult, especially at your age.”
“It helps to know that this blood drive could help someone else, even if we don’t know them,” I said. “Is it common to need a blood transfusion? I don’t think I know anyone else who’s had one.”
Terri smiled. “Oh, I bet you do.”
Her smile grew. “I’m reasonably sure that you’ve had one yourself.”
“Me? No, I’ve always been healthy.”
“But aren’t you a Christian?”
“Yes, but …” I shook my head. “I’m confused.”
Terri chuckled. “Blood means life, and if you’re a Christian, you’ve had a blood transfusion. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, shedding His blood for us. His blood washed away our sin and gave us new life.”
I nodded thoughtfully. “You’re right! I did have a blood transfusion.”
“Every Christian has,” she continued. “We were lost, broken and guaranteed to die. Then Jesus donated His perfect, healthy blood so that we could live.”
“Jesus donated His blood to save me,” I mused. “He loved me enough to do that. I never thought about it that way before.”
Terri smiled. “Don’t let it bother you that you aren’t able to donate blood today. Just grow up to be the kind of Christian who spreads the good news about the blood transfusion Jesus offers each of us.”
I thanked Terri and promised to try.
Today, more than 20 years later, I still think about Terri’s blood-transfusion analogy, especially at Easter. I remember the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus made on my behalf, and I am overwhelmed by His great love for each one of us.