I just have a lot to say.
February 15th, 2016 by

Nothing But the Blood

I noticed in the bulletin that my church was hosting a blood drive. I didn’t even attempt to give.

Back in the day, the blood bank came to my high school a couple times a year. Students lined up to give blood. You got to go to the gym and talk to your friends. You got to skip class and eat a cookie. Why would you not give?

Well, I didn’t give then, because I didn’t weigh enough. That was the gospel truth, but how much fun was that to say?

“I’d give, if only I weren’t so darn skinny.”

Over the years, that excuse went to the weigh-side (See what I did there?), but I still didn’t give. I didn’t mean to not to. I just got busy with life and didn’t make it a priority. I wasn’t afraid of needles, and I love cookies.

When Phillip went to kindergarten, I stopped one day at the local LifeSouth office. I was healthy and had some free time. I wanted one of those little cards that checked off the pints as you gave. I wanted to give blood and give life.

I walked into the office and was greeted by the staff. A welcoming woman put me into an exam room by myself to answer a few questions.

Weren’t they nice to care so much about my life?! I was born in the good ole USA. I have always been healthy. I bubbled in


on all the illnesses.

“During the 1980s, did you spend more than three months in the United Kingdom?”

I was plumb tickled that the Red Cross was so interested in me! I sure did! I spent a semester in London in 1986!


The kind woman took my completed questionnaire and put it through the scantron. That computer spat out my application like it was unsweet tea.

How dare it reject me?!?! Didn’t it know I only wanted to help people?!?!

“It’s because you spent time in England. It’s because you could have mad cow disease.”

Banned. I am banned from giving blood. For life. I cannot give life for the rest of my life. I am not good enough. I don’t smoke or chew or go with the girls who do, yet my blood is tainted, contaminated, polluted.

At my church, I learned there is “Pow’r In the Blood.”

At my church, I became “Washed in the Blood” and “Redeemed by the Blood.”

At my church, I will never give a drop of my own blood.

It’s a good thing that “Nothing but the Blood” of Jesus saves mankind, because the blood of Celeste might pure make folks crazy.

London group pic

The group of Samford University students who, in 1986, forever forfeited their chance to donate blood (at least if they’re honest in answering the questions). I’m the one in the red hat. Please don’t tell me that I didn’t look as adorable as I thought I did. (I still have the coat.)

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