The value we place on blood

Having sat waiting for the best part of an hour it would have been easy to have given up and gone home without donating but I had waited this long and anyway, this was my sixty-seventh donation so waiting a little longer wouldn’t hurt. I’ve been a blood donor since a few days after my eighteenth birthday. Originally going just to find out my blood group, I was soon going every few months. Although I have always been aware that the blood donated goes on to help others, the NHS Blood and Transplant Service (as it is now known) and its predecessors have always done a great job of educating the public of the value of blood, but to be honest to me it is background information to what has become a routine or habit.

Greenshot 2018 02 17 10.27.55Eventually, I was called forward the staff were apologetic for the delay and professional as ever. I signed the necessary forms and felt the stab of the ‘finger prick’ test. All good, not anaemic, so all ready to donate. I sat on a chair as the donor assistant prepared the bags and tubes that would receive my donation. As she stuck on the various hi-tech barcoded stickers, she also started to tie on a paper parcel tag, “An extra label for you”, she noted. I looked quizzically, intrigued by the comment and the antiquated paper label being tied to the sterile equipment. “Your blood is going to a neonatal unit for babies, look it says ‘neo’ on your donation form”. A warm feeling spread across me as the value of my blood suddenly became more real than any donation I had given before. Having briefly visited a neonatal Intensive care unit when my son was born I was struck by the potential this donation had to change the lives of young and old and to bring hope to those in despair.


Sheep and no Shepherd...

As I started writing this article I was unaware that I was about to be confronted by the sad news that my brother had taken his own life. I continue to write this a little over twelve hours later and the words of probably the most famous Psalm in the bible becomes particularly focused to me.  Most people will have heard of Psalm 23, " The Lord is my shepherd,  I will not want, he gives me rest in green pastures...".   It is often read at funerals or printed in cards given to people in loss or at times of need.  For me, knowing Jesus, the giver of peace the words of this Psalm are truth that brings comfort.  Psalm 23 also highlights what I may be feeling if I did not have that relationship with Jesus.  If you take God out of the Psalm the vision of peace and security the words portray is turned on its head.  


Telling Stories

I spend a lot of time telling stories.  As you may know, I’m a writer, and I love to go into schools to read to young people from my books, then draw out of them their ideas, encouraging them to love words and stories and the truths about life hidden within them.

Of course most of my time is devoted to the church, but in a way it’s more of the same thing, but this time telling stories with a single central theme – about how God breathed life into us, how our lives are destined to be interweaved with his greater eternal purposes, that each life is a journey  with a hidden goal of finding our way back to God. It’s a wonderful story of life extending eternally, not ending in death, but with God reaching out to us in Jesus Christ, to overcome the limits of time and the troubles of this present world.

This Christmastime, I’ll be at my usual business of stories.  You’ll find me in the library session in the Vine Centre near the shops on Saturday 10th  December from 10.30am with a team of readers, telling Christmas stories of many types and from many places.  It’s principally aimed at children, but as we know, a good story is for everyone who has ears to listen.

Story Telling


Also on Saturday the 10th at 3:00pm, come and join us for carols and mince pies


singalong carols

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