My Red Cross Experience


God has an incredible sense of humor.

I gave blood yesterday.  It’s something I had done last year at our church and the year before that, so I wasn’t feeling particularly worried about it.  Nevertheless, I felt the need to pray.  I prayed that the process would go smoothly and that I would end up in the best capable hands possible.  What I got was something I hadn’t expected.

“Hello,” the nurse said.  “I’m training two trainees today.  Do you mind if we still continue?”

“No, I don’t mind,” I said, my stomach dropping.  They were only on their second day out in the field, I found out later.

Like I said, hardy har har, God.

Needless to say, I felt apprehensive at first.  I’m totally patient, and I understand that people have to start somewhere, but I’ve heard stories of people getting stuck with a needle several times because the nurse/doctor/trainee couldn’t find the vein.  Did their experience have to be at the expense of my arm?

As it turns out, yes.  Because as I lay there, God put a couple of things on my heart.  The first thing that occurred to me was that I was actually in the best possible care.  Trainees are very careful in following all the procedures, and with the trainer looking over their shoulder, she made sure that everything was done exactly as how it should have been done.  I’m not saying this as a blanket statement that covers everyone, but I also found that people who have been doing a certain job for years are so comfortable that they might take minor shortcuts, which lessens the quality of the care.  And you know what?  He found the vein the first time.  Score one for the team, meaning me and the trainee, because we’re in this together, you know.  I’m in uncertain territory, and so is he.  In that moment, we’re connected.

The second thing that occurred to me, and perhaps the most important thing, was that maybe God put me there for a reason.  Maybe God put me there as an encourager.  Everyone needs encouraging, especially if they’re just starting out and they’re nervous and uncertain.  So, I told the trainee that he is doing a good job several times and I thanked him afterwards.  I even thanked the trainer and said that they were lucky to have her as a trainer because she was patient and nice.  Trainers sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve for their sacrifice, and I wanted her to know that.

In the end, I’m glad I went.  I wasn’t initially going to give blood, but I felt convicted on Sunday night, so I signed up.  Afterwards, I walked away with a good feeling.  Not only did I talk with people as I was sitting there enjoying my refreshments about a variety of topics that fall outside of the scope of this blog, but I also saved three lives that day and hopefully brightened up some people’s lives.  As a Christian, what better way than to show the love of Christ than to see it exemplified through your actions.  So, the next time you are in an uncomfortable position, ask yourself two questions:  Did God put you there for a reason?  And can you turn the negative into a positive?  Thank you for reading.




1 thought on “My Red Cross Experience

  1. It’s an honorable thing to do, Patrick. And I’m glad you only got stuck once. I used to give blood at least twice a year when I worked at the hospital. Half the time, they couldn’t get any from me. A veteran phlebotomist told me to always tell them to use the smallest needle on me because my veins are small and they tend to collapse. I finally gave up giving blood, but I still have to have blood drawn every so often, and I’m grateful for her advice. I’ve been stuck more than once on many occasions. But I can’t blame them for it. 🙂

    Just remember, it’s not always the one trying to draw the blood. Sometimes it’s not that easy.

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