i tried (and failed) to give blood today.

for the second time, no less.

the first time was in college, and it had been less than a year since getting tatted up. (yes, rachel bell has a tattoo. shocking. before you throw stones--or give me a rousing cheer of "bad---!"--i should tell you that it's the holiest tattoo that has ever existed. not only is it the words of JESUS, from the BIBLE, but i got it with my bible study leader while we were meeting for discipleship. before or since, there's never been as much sanctification happening in a tattoo chair than there was that day.)

but today, with all things go, my hemoglobin was too low. it needed to be 12.1, and it was 11.5. i even let them stick me twice to make sure. and even though i had been really nervous about it, in the end, i was just bummed. as i sat and waited for my friend to finish giving her ever-so-acceptable blood, i tried to figure out why i was so bummed.

i was there in the first place because i wanted to be some small part of giving someone life. this blood is a mysterious thing. it carries oxygen and nutrients and platelets and things i don't even remotely understand to keep all bodily systems running. it pumps and flows and rushes. it circulates. it replenishes itself, and adapts to heal wounds big and small.  it never stops.

unless it does. unless there's a breach, and it bleeds out. and then it's lethal. if the wound is too great, the body can't restore itself, even after the wound is covered.

and the life-giving blood of another is required to rescue it.

i wanted it to be my blood, to have my life be the sustenance for another's. i was there in the first place because i wanted to be some small part of giving someone life. 

i guess it's a good thing i can do that--on an eternal scale--without ever giving my blood. because the wound is too great, the breach is gaping, and our only hope for rescue is in the freely-given blood of Another. i hold the gospel salve in my hands. only, Jesus, teach me how to get it to them.

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