“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. ” (1 John 4:7 ESV)
I was sitting at a table eating a chicken salad sandwich. I wasn’t really hungry but I was supposed to sit a bit and eat something to replenish my strength before heading home. I had left early to be first in line at a blood drive being held 15 miles away from my home. I knew that the changes due to Covid-19 would make the donation process even longer than it was before and I was right. I stood at the door with my face mask on and had my temperature checked even before going in the room. Once I was admitted it was checked a second time along with my pulse, blood pressure and iron levels. Then I had to answer a long list of questions making sure I had never been anywhere or done anything so I would be safe to donate.
Thankfully, it all went well and I was soon lying on a table with a needle in my arm and my blood quietly flowing into a pint sized bag. I chatted and joked with the lady drawing my blood and found out that they had traveled 2 hours compared to the 20 minutes I had driven. They were in for a 16 hour day too. Still, they had almost 50 people scheduled to donate that day and were happy to do it because each pint of blood could be saving a life.
I took another bite of my sandwich, sipped a bottle of water, and looked down at the paper lying next to my face mask. On it was a date 56 days from now. It was the first day I would be able to donate again. I smiled and thanked God that I didn’t have to wait that long between other acts of kindness because this world needs all the kindness it can get.
With disease, violence, racism, and economic uncertainty plaguing us right now it seems easy to retreat in fear and withdraw into ourselves. This is the one thing God doesn’t want us to do. God loves us and wants us to love each other even in the worst times. God wants us to defeat our fear with faith and thankfulness. God wants us to remember that every act of kindness counts.
Every pint of blood we donate can save a life. Every smile we share can uplift a heart. Every kind word we say can brighten a day. Every prayer we pray can save a soul. Every act of kindness we do can make this world a better place. Every bit of love we share can bring us closer to Heaven. Fill all your days with love then. Fill all your hours with kindness. Live your life the way God wants you to live it.
Joseph J. Mazzella