Today is a chance to, quite literally, bring life to someone. Giving blood is such a potent image of generosity, because it’s giving away something so critical to ourselves – our actual lifeblood! And that can train us into sacrificial generosity in other ways, too.
Green: Find out about giving blood at www.blood.co.uk and make a one-off trip.
Amber: Start giving blood regularly.
Red: Give blood as often as you can.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)
Twice a year for 35 years, I sat down in a chair, extended my arm and invited a complete stranger to stick a needle into it and take some of my blood. ‘Why would you do that, Linda?’ I hear you ask. Let me take you back to when I was in my mid-teens and I heard God prompting me to give something I had in abundance to those who needed it.
I started giving blood at the age of 18 when I went to university in Southampton and I’ve never looked back. Five years ago, I got my Gold Award. I gave blood continuously for 35 years, only taking breaks when I was having my children.
To me, giving blood is a wonderful way to show generosity. It’s only an hour of your time and it can be the difference between life and death for someone you’ll never meet. It wasn’t all plain sailing, though. The first few times I gave blood, I felt quite ill afterwards, but I persevered and it got better. I had to have a break when my iron was too low, but I always started again when given the all-clear. My husband is terrified of needles, but I encouraged him to join me and he did it for many years, until a health condition forced him to stop, and my youngest child has followed in my footsteps. I’m quite evangelical about blood donation!
I could have stopped at any time, especially when I wasn’t feeling great. I never did, though, because I felt it was so important. I wanted to give as much as I could, a full measure if you like. I’d encourage everyone to look into giving blood. I appreciate that it’s not possible for everyone, but you can be sure you’re making a huge difference to somebody else in need. I’m so glad I listened to God’s prompting all those years ago.
To find out more about blood donation, visit www.blood.co.uk.