Archive for August 2012

Saving a Life is Pretty Cool

August 20, 2012

Saving a Life is Pretty Cool – Steven J. Callis

“Saving a life is pretty cool.”  These are the words of Bryce, a 19 year old college student who endured a painful week-long procedure to donate bone marrow to a 47 year old leukemia patient in need of a transplant.  The young man’s mother said the pain he experienced during the process actually brought him to his knees.  He compared it to severely straining a muscle while lifting weights, except all over his body.

            As if this story needs another mark of character in it, Bryce knowingly sacrificed a starting position on his collegiate football team this fall in order to serve as a bone marrow donor.  Because of the procedure, his bones will be too weak to risk playing football this year.  How did he feel about that?  “When you compare losing a passion to losing a life, they are pretty easy to weigh against each other,” Bryce said.

            Bryce’s friend since elementary school is also fighting a battle with leukemia and is in need of a transplant.  While Bryce was not a matching candidate for his friend, he was able to transfer that life-saving desire to help someone else, having learned about the potential while attending a donor drive for his friend.

            This reminds me of a similar story about a little boy whose brother needed a life-saving operation.  The parents explained to him that he had the same blood type as his brother, who would need blood during surgery in order to survive.  Agreeing to give his own blood to save his brother’s life, the nurse made the necessary preparations and then began the procedure.  After a few seconds the parents noticed tears running down his cheeks.  Asking if he was in pain, his quivering lips spoke, “How long before I die?”  In his mind, he thought giving up his blood to save his brother’s life would end his own.

            The Christian faith believes in the crucified and risen Christ, whose volitional, sacrificial death on a cross made atonement for the sins of humankind, by which those who believe receive His gift of eternal life.  Through one man (Adam), sin entered the world, and through One (Jesus), sin is pardoned.  I don’t mean this sacrilegiously, but I think Jesus would agree with Bryce: “Yes, it’s pretty ‘cool’ to save a life.”

If you have not experienced this life-saving gift, I urge you to contact a local church pastor to find out more about God’s gift of life. 

By the way, donating blood could save another person’s life, and you can find more information about that act of kindness through the Red Cross.  Also, doing a simple kind deed for someone else may not save the person’s life, but it could rescue a moment of it.  Reach out and give someone else a reason to smile today.

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Excitement in the Air

August 2, 2012

As an elementary school student, it was my second most favorite day of the school year: the first day of school.  I liked meeting my new teacher and seeing which of my friends would be in my class from the previous year, receiving new text books, and finding out where my desk would be located in the classroom.  There was so much excitement in the air.

               Part of that excitement was the result of the previous day, when I went to the store with my mom to buy new pencils, new paper, new notebooks, new crayons, a new lunch box, a new ruler – -and new clothes.  I liked getting a new shirt and new shoes, but I dreaded the part about trying on blue jeans.  I would come out of the dressing room and embarrassingly stand as my mom pulled and tugged at those denim pants to make sure there was enough room in the waist and legs and – – well, you get the picture.

               Of course, in those days faded jeans with holes in them were not the fad.  No, these were dark blue denim with the cuffs rolled up twice (at least mine were – I was short back then).  Pants pulled up, belt in place, shirt tucked in, no hat, unscuffed sneakers…So off I went to my new classroom in my new clothes with my new school supplies; there was so much excitement in the air.

               Like many other students, my most favorite day of school was the last day!  I liked turning in my textbooks, cleaning out my messy desk, putting all my broken pencils and broken crayons in my torn book satchel, along with my dented up lunch box and leaky thermos, wearing my light blue denim jeans with patches in the knee to cover the holes that had appeared.  It was summertime! There was so much excitement in the air.

               I am not so sure I realized it back then, but now I know that the most important days were those that fell between my second most favorite day and my favorite day.  Those days were filled with academic, social, and physical development, and those were the days when schools recognized and were allowed to address the significance of moral character and national pride.  I owe a great deal to my school teachers from across those years.

               I encourage you to take a moment right now and pray for our students, teachers, and administrators as this new school year begins; and further, that you will continue the habit of such prayer throughout the school year ahead.   Our children deserve the best.