#1013  Blood

I gave blood today.

It was the first time in over 6 years and I had only donated 
once before. As I reflect on the day's event, I see spiritual 
truth and application in what appears to be a simple thing.

Christianity is symbolized by the cross. The blood of Jesus 
is the verbal wording and pictorial image of the sacrifice and 
salvation for Christians. If you are not Christian, bear with 
me, this will relate.

The symbol of the organization that collects blood to save 
lives is The Red Cross. I got a chance to stare at it while I 
was on the donating couch. It's not a Christian cross, it's a 
plus sign.

Most of the south is Christian by a large majority. Less than 
5% of the eligible population donates blood. I saw 
interesting parallels in the blood donation today. 

Most Christians don't truly donate of their blood in helping 
strangers. Blood is blood. Blood is money. Blood is effort.

In Christianity, it takes pure blood to save life and give 
salvation. At the Red Cross, you have a battery of questions 
to answer concerning past disease and sexual partners. You 
must consent to have your blood tested for AIDS and other 
diseases. If your blood isn't healthy or pure, you can't 
donate. If it doesn't test clean, they won't give it to anyone.

You sacrifice material resources.
They don't pay you for your blood and they don't reimburse 
you for transportation costs. You have to get to the donation 
center on your own. Real spiritual mission often means that 
you will sacrifice your material resources, not get rich.

You sacrifice time.
It took about an hour and a half. By the time you fill out the 
forms, answer the questions, have a mini-physical, have your 
blood drawn, and wait 15 minutes to get up, it takes an hour 
and a half. You will never get spiritual growth and reward 
without investing time.

It hurts.
No, it is not excruciating pain but you have to be stuck twice. 
Once in the finger so they can determine whether you have 
enough hemoglobin in your blood. If you don't, you might 
faint. Once in the arm as they draw the blood. If it felt 
good, you wouldn't need a higher leading to do it. You 
would do it from the gratification of the flesh. So it is with 
spiritual things, it often hurts to change and make sacrifice.

There are risks.
Although donating blood is statistically very safe, there is a 
slight chance that something could go wrong.
Walk the narrow path and there are great risks.

If someone doesn't give, others will die.

All of the above are spiritual principles and each one you 
must endure to really help. Becoming unselfish and helping 
others is the basis for all spiritual disciplines.

If you ever want to meet a special breed of people, go to a 
Red Cross donation center. Don't go to the commercial 
centers where they pay you for your blood, go where the 
donors give their blood without pay.

There were five other people giving blood when I went. 
There was a black woman in her 30's. Two white men in 
their mid 30's to 40's and two white women in their 50's or 
60's. The attendant knew three of the donors by first name. 
Evidently, they were regulars. All of them had a peace about 
them. For lack of a better word, they had a spirit of 

The Southern Red Cross needs 1,200 units of blood a week. 
This is the only collection facility in Atlanta. There were a 
total of six people in the room.

If you ever want to see what a real giver looks like. Go to a 
Red Cross collection center. Think about it. What type of 
person takes their time, gas and automobile to give 
something that will go to someone that they don't even 
know? A giver, that's what type.

I felt an urge to go today for the second time in over six 
years. I decided to go every 56 days. That's the most you 
can donate. One pint every 56 days. 

I always knew the need. I always knew that someone had to 
give the blood. I was always too busy and figured someone 
else would do it. 

Do you figure someone else will do it? 

I don't necessarily mean donating blood. I mean the things 
that you see around you that you know need to be done. We 
are too busy and we figure "it will get done by someone 

Maybe it's time to move to being a giver. Not just with your 
immediate family, but to someone that you don't even know.

Oddly enough, the Red Cross runs into critical shortages of 
blood during the first two weeks of January each year. 
People don't give very much during the holidays.

It is an interesting thought, that in the very season of giving, 
giving the gift of life is at it's lowest. 

It's three hours later and I actually feel better. Not just 
mentally, I physically feel better.

The shedding of blood was a medical practice from the 5th 
century to after the time of George Washington. Doctors 
believed that to lose some blood periodically kept you 
healthier. That is of course considered medical non-sense 
now but who knows what truth the ancients knew?

The red, white and blue barbers pole is from the practice of 
bloodletting. The red stood for blood, the blue for veins and 
the white for the bandage. You went to the barbershop to get 
a haircut and some blood let out. That blood however, went 
in the trash, not to save lives. They thought it improved their 
health and kept them from getting sick or if they were sick it 
made them well. 

The old fashioned barbers even used leeches. Sound terrible 
doesn't it? Well, they are now using leeches in modern 
surgery. Like I said, who knows what truth the ancients 

Heart disease is our leading killer. Most of it results from 
the blood clotting because it's too thick. Maybe if we shed a 
little every now and then our own blood wouldn't be so 
thick. Women outlive men in every country on earth. They 
shed blood every 28 days. 2 x 28 = 56

Just an interesting thought.

The Christian cross and The Red Cross are both plusses if 
you understand the math. 

It's the type of math where when you subtract something 
from you, you add to you.

Laugh of The Day: Witty Words of Wisdom

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you 
have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in 
the middle of it.

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days 
you're the statue.

Cooking lesson #1: don't fry bacon in the nude.

Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their 

If you eat a live toad in the morning, you can just about be 
guaranteed nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of 
the day.

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you can't beat your computer at chess, try kickboxing.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a 
couple of car payments.

Never buy a car you can't push.

Never eat yellow snow.

Never pet a burning dog.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because 
then you don't have a leg to stand on.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and 
annoys the pig.

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong 

You are what you eat. So stay away from the jerk chicken.

Be nice to the nerds and geeks in high school -- you'll be 
working for them in the future.

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

Thank you for inviting MountainWings into your mailbox.
See you tomorrow.