The greatest gift you can receive is another day of life!
Yesterday, I was finally able to attend a Donor Sabbath service. Other years had me either traveling, or unable to attend for one reason or another. Even though I had never attended the service, I knew the importance of the day and have always held the memory of my anonymous donor in my prayers and thoughts. The person that saved my life is remembered every day, but this day takes on an extra special meaning.
So what is the Donor Sabbath?
National Donor Sabbath is observed annually on Friday through Sunday two weekends before Thanksgiving. This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States.
It is a service dedicated to those that have given the gift of life. Also know as organ donors.
It is an opportunity to bring organ donation awareness to our faith-based communities.
It is a celebration of hope and of life of organ recipients.
The service began with a prayer, there were songs, inspiring speeches, the heart breaking stories of death and stories of hope and survival. As each story was told, there was a candle lit starting with a donor family member and then for each of the organ recipients. As I sat there with my eyes closed I saw my own journey unfold in my mind. A harrowing journey in which I survived certain death ONLY because another person or persons made a decision to donate organs. The tears welled up in my eyes during the stories and I know I was shaking, but at the same time I could feel love surround me, I sensed that the church was filling with hope and I felt at ease, I felt comforted as I prayed for my donor and his or her family.
As the stories ended there was one candle left UNLIT. It was left that way to honor those that were added to the national organ donation waiting list during our service. As on average, one person is added to the nation UNOS organ waiting list every 10 minutes, and 22 people a day pass away while waiting for a life saving organ that never came.
The hope is that more will register to be donors …. to give that hope to those waiting on that life saving organ. Hope to survive. Hope to live.
Thank God for all that he provides and may he Bless the souls of all that donate life and also bless their families.
Pain is real, but so is HOPE!