I only gave blood once 30 years ago before this past month, so this has been a stretching experience for me. As I lie on the bed donating, I have about 40 minutes to read, think, and pray as I pump my right hand and watch my blood travel through a clear tube. I also have clear vision of my three neighbors' blood collecting and spinning through the machines across from me.
This experience reminds me of some Scriptures....
"For the life of a creature is in the blood....it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." (Lev. 17:11)
"God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." (Rom.3:25)
"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." (1 Peter 1:18-19)
"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)
It seems fitting to pray Jesus over the people of Haiti, for people in need of plasma, and for all people everywhere as I watch this blood flow through tubes and then collect and spin in the machines. Watching this deep red life flow from everyone's arms reminds me of our sameness as people, the precious and fragile state of life, and our common need, every one of us, for the beautiful, sacrificial blood of Jesus to forgive and redeem our lives.