We were singing a worship song this morning that contained a reference to Jesus’ blood and a new heart. Then it hit me! (I know. I’m a bit slow on the uptick.) If it weren’t for my very first blood transfusion, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Allow me to explain. I was born on May 22, 1946. I was complete with a body filled with the essentials including blood and a beating heart. That was my first birth, my physical birth. I enjoyed the life given me. I was a good kid, but I did sin. I remember breaking into my brother’s safe (one of those piggy bank versions) though I don’t think I took anything of consequence, but I lied and said I didn’t do it. If I had done nothing other than that, and I did much more, my life was spoiled. The blood in my body was tainted.
When I was around ten, we had a revival in our home church. It wasn’t one of those 3 day things so popular now. It was a full-fledged, hell fire and brimstone, two week revival. Sometime during that revival, I became convicted of my sinful nature. I didn’t respond at that time, but I did at a later date at the end of a Sunday morning service. I was baptized that evening. I knew I needed forgiveness, and that forgiveness only came through accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I didn’t fully understand what “Lord and Savior” meant, most Americans don’t. We don’t have a king who rules over us and demands that we refer to him as “My Lord”. But I did have a rudimentary understanding, enough that I knew I needed Him. That was my first blood transfusion. My rebirth through Jesus Christ. I became a new man, or child. I had someone else in control of my life though it took me a few years to grasp the significance of that. Jesus, through His leading and correction has made me the man I am today.
Sometime shortly after July 11 of this year, I will undergo a Stem Cell Transplant to cure my Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. All of my white blood cells will be destroyed by strong doses of chemo drugs. I will be administered anti-rejection drugs. Then I will receive the blood stem cells from someone else, my donor. I will no longer have my own blood. I will have someone else’s blood pumped by my heart, flowing through my veins, and bringing life to my cells, my body. That blood will have my host’s DNA. This will be my second blood transfusion. The first renewed my spiritual life bringing forgiveness and redemption. This one brings a renewed physical life giving me what should be many years of added life.
Many people celebrate all three births. My church background never put much emphasis on celebrating the first rebirth, so I celebrate that every week when my spiritual siblings and I gather to worship. I do plan to celebrate my second rebirth along with my first. I don’t yet know HOW I will celebrate it, but I expect that I will mark the day by doing something FOR others who are in the position I’m in now – waiting for that new birthday.
PS: it’s T-10 days until we begin our journey to Houston! Housing is secured. Packing is started. Local arrangements have been made. I can hardly wait!