There are few things in this world I hate as much as giving blood.
My first experience, years ago, as a young and unassuming freshman in high school, was one that has stood out to me (and caused fear and panic of a repeat experience) ever since.
The nurse harshly stuck the needle in my arm (thank goodness for ‘good veins’). I did not know enough NOT to look down at the needle sticking out of my arm. One look was all it took. I immediately blacked out, slumped over, and nearly pulled the needle out of my left arm.
I awoke to the nurse berating me for moving my arm, which could have caused the needle to break. Of course, I was not very humbled by her harsh lashing out, since I had passed out cold, and really had no way of controlling the movements of my arm…
In years since, I have learned how to handle just a small stick and a vial (two at the most) of bloodletting. I now know not to look anywhere near the needle, or my arm. I know to deep-breathe my way toward my happy place and am always thankful for a colorful poster or thought-provoking piece of wall art in which to distract me for the few moments the technician steals my life-giving liquid substance.
This morning, I had to provide a panel of labs for an annual physical I have later this week. Apparently, my doctor wanted to measure more closely than in the past because I seriously thought the technician was on a journey to bleed me completely dry. She stuck the needle in my arm and took one vial…… two…. three….FOUR….I lost count after that because I started feeling queasy.
Praying desperately for the torture to end, I took one long breath and felt her apply sweet pressure on my vein with that welcome cotton ball I find so refreshing, signifying the end to the brutal vein assault.
Of course, then I started feeling the familiar sweat prickling my hairline, and the nauseous feeling overtaking my body. I told her I felt dizzy, and she immediately provided a small hand-held fan to set directly in front of my face. I put my head down on the arm rest and happened to look up to see her staring straight at me as if I was a curious circus animal on full display.
That made it even worse!
I finally managed to regain my composure and stand up, giving myself a moment to find balance, before walking out of the examination room.
As I drove from the familiar lab to my office, I thought how unique the substance of blood is.
Each person’s blood is like a calling card, displaying so many various pieces of information, signifying their unique chemical and physical make-up. We can learn so much about our body by simply studying the ways in which our blood communicates.
I know that my blood happens to be a universal donor, yet is quite a rare version, which holds a distinguishing RH factor.
I know one son shares my unique blood type, and the other son shares his dad’s unique blood type. Many years ago, my second-born son could have faced a grave life-altering uncertainty for a healthy birth, given that RH factor that now only requires a simple shot after birth, in order to avoid any devastating life-threatening experiences.
I know blood donors save lives. Those requiring transfusions are indebted to the many who routinely offer their blood in hopes of securing a stranger’s (or friend’s) hope for a happy and healthy life.
Is it any wonder there are so many popular TV shows, movies, books, and songs written about vampires who crave the deliciously red life-giving substance? With one mere drop igniting a storm of unrivaled passion for more…..
Our Redeemer: A Universal Blood Donor
I think of the blood that Jesus shed. That red and powerful substance. I wonder what His blood type was?
Did he have regular ‘human’ blood? I assume so…. yet His blood held within its confines the very power to cover the immeasurable sins of all humankind.
That is some epic blood.
The greatest transfusion ever known to man: Jesus’ pouring out of blood for the whole of humanity. Only this transfusion was not merely physical, but spiritual in nature.
Blood. The one substance that ties us all together. You can answer a lot of physical questions by studying a person’s blood type, but you cannot tell what type of person they actually are: good, bad, evil, ugly, beautiful, caring, sharing, rude, depraved, Christian, atheist, racist, Republican, Democrat, the list is endless.
We all contain a similar substance. Yet, we each have our own unique brand of that substance. It does nothing to define the amount of love, happiness, and hope we choose to exhibit to the world beyond our front door.
If we are all created the same, with the same life-giving substance coursing through our veins, do we not have more in common than mere surface opinions and deeply held beliefs? And if we are related in such a way, should we not try to adopt a love for each other as brothers and sisters, sharing the same earthly home, riding the same emotional roller coaster of this very human life?
It has been said that ‘blood is thicker than water’.
I believe the universal symbol of a life well-lived is a person’s ability to love, provide hope, encouragement, and help in times of need.
No matter what your individual blood type, your heart holds the key to a life of freedom purchased by the blood of a Redeemer, or a life of bitter imprisonment, made by selfish decisions, veiled hatred, and a prideful air.
The choice is yours.
Universal Blood Donor/Receiver….or victim of selfish pride, every day suffering the death-inducing ravages of the need for a life-saving blood transfusion, which just so happens to be readily available to all.