Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blood Drive

This week, there was an event at school that made me even more nervous than musical tryouts. No, it was not finals, Prom Week, or April Fools (aka Day of Shameless Mockery of Gullible People). Nope. This week, my school hosted a blood drive. Now, last time I gave blood I almost fainted--the world turned a shade lighter than black, and only a sugary soda could redeem me from my pitiful state. As you might imagine, that was both humiliating and scary. Nevertheless, I signed up to donate again this year and, when my number was called, nervously made my way to a station. My iron levels were good (thanks to my vitamin supplements!), and I was perfect to donate! Except. Except. Except it turned out I had been to a "malaria-risk area" in the past 12 months (no, it wasn't my neighbor's swimming pool, but thanks for your concern). It was--drum roll please!--rural Guatemala! Duh-duh-duh-duh! So with a Band-Aid adorning my now uselessly-pricked finger, I signed a statement, pledging that I would not try to give blood until June 24th, 2011. Which happens to be when I'll most likely be in Guatemala again. Do you know what this means, people? I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GIVE BLOOD AGAIN UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD! (The end of the world=2012, for those of you without pocket Mayan calenders.) Hem. Sorry about that. I'm a bit--cough cough--melodramatic at times. Oddly enough, I was almost darkly happy that I couldn't give blood yesterday. I was blacklisted. It was like being on a watch list. (Just kidding. But it was a little fun signing that paper, in a weird sort of way.) Aside from all that, I was tempted to be severely disappointed that I couldn't donate. That's 24 MONTHS (aka 36 LIVES) that I could have saved! Talk about insta-depression. But I refused to wallow in sadness and have a two-year-long pity party (although, it's tempting. If I change my mind, would you mind bringing the emo music and headless gummy bears?). After all, the very reason I couldn't donate was because I had done something AWESOME like going to Guatemala and been serving God! When I thought about it, I realized that my church delivered 206 water filters to rural Guatemalan villages (not to mention the medical and dental services they provided free of charge). Compared to the aid--both physical and spiritual--we gave to the Guatemalans, the blood I could have donated didn't quite stack up. That's not to say that I don't think giving blood is important (because it is!), but that I had been called to do something different and shouldn't be disheartened by what I can't do. So, whether you can sit down for an hour or so and donate blood, spend a month in a third-world country, or whatever else, go out and do it! And be happy! This sort of reminded me of a Bible verse that goes, "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12). Be happy and inspired, yo!