blood-of-JesusToday I gave blood.

I gave it (as I have done every year for the past three years) in honor of a dear friend who died after a car accident in January of 2013. She was remarkably kind, unusually friendly, generous, sweet, warm and inviting.

I suppose the official reason is that I give blood to help others who might suddenly need it after accidents of their own. But really, if that were the case I would have given blood before 2014 (when the blood drive in Ashley’s honor began).

No, if I’m being honest I go and I give because she was the first friend of mine to be taken from me in death. That’s the kind of thing that’s supposed to start happening when you get to be around 66 years old, not 26 years old.

So I go and I give because I feel like it’s the least I can do to force myself to remember a very good person who was friend to so many.

And I can’t help but think, every time I give, how quickly the time passes. From the time the needle goes in to the time they say I’m done, only about 5 minutes pass. Apparently I give blood at a remarkable rate…and come to think of it, the guy who gave me my tattoo years ago said my pale skin just “drinks up” the ink, so I must have wicked good genes. Thanks mom!

When I give blood I’m in and out within an hour, and that includes filling out the long questionnaire and waiting for a seat to open up, eating a cookie afterward, etc. All of that: one hour.

And I can’t help but think, every time I give, how my Master also gave blood. How His was far from a pleasant experience.  How His took hours, including the mockery, the beatings, the walk of shame up Golgotha’s hill, and the hours nailed to the wood.  Hour after hour of agony upon agony. I can’t help but think how, when He was giving His blood, what was on His mind was not a friend who had died, but an enemy whose life He wished to purchase and restore.