5 years ago my sister donated her kidney. She willingly and unflinchingly gave it up. And it wasn’t donated to a family member or even a close friend. She gave it to one of her clients.
My sister is a CPA, a certified public accountant. She has a successful business that doesn’t stop growing. She’s good at what she does and has made it a ministry. You know, charging well-below the going rate in an effort to help folks. I love that about her. That’s her heart.
But in all honesty, I felt she went a bit too far when she told us her plan to do this. I thought she was nuts. You do these things for loved ones, your family circle. And you possibly do this for the closest of friends. But, this. Well, this seemed a bit absurd.
I didn’t like this idea in the least and she knew it. It frightened me and raised so many concerns. But, I settled my worries because the chance of her actually making to the operating table were small. A perfect match is what’s required. I assured myself that that they will soon weed her out. And once again, life goes on.
So many tests involved in donating an organ. Blood, urine, crossmatch test, HLA typing, EKG and so many other tests with fancy names. The process took over a year! And truth be told, I never got on board. She prayed one way and I another. She’d talk about the journey and I remained silent. I didn’t like it whatsoever.
I waited for that one test that would eliminate her from the process. I wanted that call letting me know it was finally over. But it never came. Instead, I got a different call. I got an enthusiastic call that she was a perfect match and surgery was on the horizon. Her client would live.
The recipient, an Asian male who should have been in the prime of his life. My sister, an Irish-Scotch female. Go figure…. Clearly, I know absolutely nothing about anatomy and biology. I felt ignorant. I quickly learned that ethnicity was not a deterrent for a perfect match.
His kidneys were functioning at less than 15 percent and absent a working kidney, he’d soon die. Dialysis had been preserving him, but made for a painful life. He was young, married, a father of two little boys. He should have thriving but instead, death was at his doorstep.
A life needed to be saved. And so, more tests were done. Psychological exams, interviews, more blood work. It seemed to never end.
I still had many reservations. I ran the list of “what if’s” repeatedly. And I let her know. In a desperate last ditch attempt, I even, albeit shamefully, used guilt. “What if I need a kidney some day?” No sale. She had her own confirmation from the Lord. She had a peace. And so, she could not be swayed. She remained steadfast in her desire to give life.
I will never forget that day. It was a hot one up at UC Davis medical center. They prepped her and we prayed for her. The rolled her down the hall towards the operating room. No turning back now. On the way, she gave a confident high-five to her client, who was being wheeled in the oppsosite direction. And then, they turned the corner and she was gone.
It’s been 5 years since that day. Life had to change for my sister. When you have one kidney, you no longer have one to lose. It must be protected with tender care. She’s somewhat good about that. She drinks her gallons of water and tries to eliminate soda. She loves Diet Coke. She’s not perfect.
She’s a giver, my sister. She has that rare gift of giving. She holds loosely to her money and possessions. They sit at the throne of God for Him to do with as he pleases. She holds loosely to her life. She understands it isn’t hers. She belongs to the Lord. Her body isn’t hers and neither was her kidney.
I gotta admit, I’m not sure if I could do that. I think I want to be able to say I would do that, but the reality is, I often love myself more than others, even more than God.
We are a people who hold tightly to the things we love most. Those are the very things we are called to lay down at the alter. Possessions, money, I can lay those down with ease. Well, most the time. But I find it difficult to surrender the people I love. I find it a struggle to lay them down at the foot of the cross and say, “They are yours, so do whatever you need to do. I’m getting out of the way.”
And then often, I find it so hard and even painful to put myself under submission to the cross and say, “not my will but yours be done.”
A surrendered life let’s go. It doesn’t hang onto our ideas. A surrendered life isn’t married to our will and determination. A surrendered life is ready in a heartbeat to let go of the very things we love most. A surrendered heart is when is when he is on the throne.
Hold loosely the to the things of this world so when you are called to lay it down and or give it up, you can say, not my will but yours.
Are you totally surrendered tonJesus Christ?
*Praying God bless those who donate. Chris Carroll