A while ago I was donating blood -- something I do every 56 days -- and I noticed something a little different.
Instead of filling one large bag with my blood, they were filling four smaller bags.
I pointed at the bags and asked why they were doing that.
"You're O negative," they explained. "That means you can donate to everyone -- including babies -- no matter what their blood type. So we are filling up these small bags for babies who need transfusions."
Pretty cool, I mused. My blood might possibly save the lives of not one but four people -- and infants at that.
Then I thought how cool it must have been for the original universal donor -- Jesus -- to know that His blood could save every living person!
That brought up many more reflections:
-- How small my blood donation was compared with His.
-- How interesting that while my blood might save four lives, I would never receive any credit, applause, or recognition. It would just be an anonymous, bar-coded bag of life from God.
Then I thought to myself, it isn't MY blood any more.
Isn't that part of the deal when we ask Jesus into our lives, when we eat of His flesh and drink of His blood? He begins to live in us and the outpouring of our lives -- our actions, our words, even our blood -- become His.
Of course, we can't impart our faith in Christ through transfusions. We need to spread the lifeblood of God's Word through relationships, speaking to people, sharing how God is working in our lives.
That seemed difficult at first.
Then the nurse asked me if I would like a T-shirt for today's donation.
"Sure," I said. "I can give it to one of the homeless men we minister to."
And, just like that, I had tapped into the blood of Jesus and love started to drip out.
"Where do you do that?" the nurse asked.
"We meet at a warehouse downtown every Thursday for dinner and a Bible study with about 20 homeless men and women," I said.
"There are women too?" she said.
"Yes, and one of them is pregnant," I said. "Another has a 2-year-old daughter and is living in her car."
The nurse's face was pensive as she handed me the T-shirt. She asked me for the address of the warehouse.
The next Thursday, there she was, with warm clothing, a covered dish of lasagna and a small toy for the 2-year-old.
We Christians are entrusted with the blood of Jesus.
Let's let it flow.
Al Boyce is a former writer and reporter for The Associated Press. He lives in Raleigh, NC, where he now writes for God.
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