blood drives, bbq, and team jacob

May 28, 2010 at 3:22 am Leave a comment

yesterday, the american red cross held a blood drive at my workplace. i used to think that the american red cross would be an awfully good cover for a secret group of vampires who masquerade as humanitarians as they live among us feeding off our donated bodily fluid. actually, i still think it is a good theory but the whole idea of vampirism has been tainted for me by twilight. in any event, i now routinely donate blood but not for the usual reason of saving lives.

first, giving blood is good preparation in the event you are injured and lose lots of blood. if i ever lose a pint of blood in a surprise bear attack or ninja ambush, my body will already be conditioned to function normally. which means i’ll properly soil my trousers.

next, it is fascinating that a part of me is now inside a plastic bag being stored in a freezer somewhere and even more fascinating that it might end up inside another person some day. even though red blood cells do not replicate and die fairly rapidly, there is a sense that donating blood immortalizes you in a way.

giving blood gives me an excuse to eat lots of meat in an effort to replenish iron. yesterday evening, i attended a terrific bbq dinner where i ate grilled chicken, a hamburger, steak, and a sausage. instead of shame, which would have been the normal reaction to such gluttony, i felt a deep satisfaction in the depths of my bones. perhaps the feeling was my marrow using the meat to make more blood.

lastly, every pint of blood donated undergoes numerous laboratory tests to screen out all sorts of horrible diseases in order to keep the blood supply safe. this occurs at no cost to you and the red cross will actually notify you if you test positive for anything. so a blood donation, at the very least, is a free blood test.

the red cross also interviews donors to disqualify people whose blood might be at higher risk of being infected. while this is a good practice to keep patients needing blood transfusions from being made more ill with donated blood, my donor interview yesterday made me realize just what a boring person i am. for example, i have not:

1) been to africa, south america, the UK, or eastern europe
2) had any tattoos
3) gotten any piercings
4) eaten any mad cow beef from the UK
5) exchanged sex for money
6) used any illicit intravenous drugs

so although i have many good reasons to donate blood, i hope that by the next blood drive, i can proudly answer that i am an interesting and adventurous person who has traveled to malaria-infested parts of the world and gotten tribal tattoos and piercings.

but my main point today is actually theological in nature. many people, when asked why they are not interested in donating blood, say that they don’t like needles, or the pain, or that they don’t weigh enough, or that they are training for a long distance race, or they are on team jacob. these are all valid reasons, don’t get me wrong, and hearing these reasons reminds me of jesus. jesus bore the cross, endured the pain, was worthy and selfless enough to not just donate, but give his blood, not that we could be cured of any earthly disease, but to cleanse our souls of the cosmic cancer that is sin.

and to back up my justification for eating meat after donating blood, one only has to look at luke 24:40-43, where after the resurrection, jesus appears to the disciples:

“When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”

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Entry filed under: faith, reflection.

things i have learned in the past week hot with a chance of chastity

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