"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends
Many years ago, a beloved church leader received a much-needed kidney donation—not from one of his closest family members, but from a church member who had simply grown to know him through the church’s prayer list. The donor was not one of the “saints” of the church, but a driven political leader who focused mostly on his work, fitting family and church responsibilities into his life when he could. Seeing the love his church friends had for the man, and hearing their genuine pleas to God for help, he simply had to help. After quietly signing up for the donation match program, receiving word that he was a perfect fit for the needed kidney, and going into surgery to donate his kidney, this politician was suddenly the one requesting prayer.
To this day, I’m not sure if his spouse even knew he had been tested to see if he was a potential match. Certainly, the recipient and his church family were surprised by this sacrificial offer—an offer that became a miraculous gift of life for a dying man. But the politician knew, and his life was forever transformed by the experience. To this day, he claims that donating his kidney was the best gift he’s ever given; and he names his moment of giving as a highlight of his life—a moment that clarified his purpose both as a man and as a leader. These two men are forever connected in love, as any of us are when we give or receive such a selfless gift. Whether they continue as members of the same church matters not. Whether they hang out on Saturdays at the golf course or never see each other again, their connection of love is eternal.
Through Christ’s self-giving love, we too are forever connected to Christ when we accept and receive this love. Even if we wander away or think we’ve left that love behind, we haven’t. Just like the father of the prodigal son, Christ is always waiting for us, always loving us, always connected with us. When we reach back and embrace the connection, a new dance begins, and we are changed for the good.
~Adapted from Mary Scifres Ministries