Thursday, December 24, 2015

I got humility for Christmas

So on Christmas Eve I was sent to the store for a few last minute things. The store parking lot was packed with cars, and I knew the shopping experience would be crowded.

I parked my car at the edge the parking lot and made my way into the first store. When I came out, I went to drop off my purchase in my car before moving to my next stop. As I approached my car I noticed a man wandering around the vehicals.

Because the area I was parked in was near where I had seen panhandlers, and he didn't seem to be going anywhere, I assumed he was a beggar. I judged him. I figured he was looking to accost shoppers and ask for money.

I went into my avoidance pattern. I didn't look at him. I avoided eye contact. I'm sure my posture was shouting, "leave me alone." But he still spoke to me.

"How are you doing?" he asked.

"Fine." I said. Saying as little as possible. I turned my back on him and put my bag in my car and locked it. Then I turned back around.

He was closer to me now. And he was holding out his hand. "Do you know anyone that could use a little exrta this Christmas?" In his hand was a $100 dollar bill.

I said, "But...." a bit incoherently and he put the money in my hand.  Then he walked away.  I took a step after him.

He looked back before he got in his car and we made eye contact. Then he quickly got in his car and drove off. And I just stood there, more guilty than I have ever felt before.

I had judged a fellow man in a glance. I had deemed him unworthy of even a polite greeting. I had given him my cold shoulder. And I had been rude in my response to his salutation.

I'm ashamed of my behavior.

He was none of the things I had judged him to be. But even if he had been, that wouldn't have excused my actions toward him. The poverty of my heart was greater than I knew.

This is my confession. And my commitment to do better.

Because I know that I can do better.

I know that I should do better.

And I will do better.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why I'm an Organ Donor

Well, I guess I'm not yet. I mean I still have all of my organs. Well, okay, when I was seven I had my appendix out. But I don't count that as a donation. No one really wanted it or anything.

But for years I have checked the boxes on my drivers license and filled out the forms to authorize the donation of my organs in the case of my death. And I seriously think this is something everyone should do.

Today we have great technology. We fly through the air. We talk to people around the world and up in space. We can search entire works of not just the great writers, but the mediocre ones, in seconds. And we can take an organ, like a heart, from someone that doesn't need theirs anymore. And give it to someone that will die without it.

Its like magic. Its like a miracle. And it could happen more often.

Here is the deal.

Lets say you are like me. You have filled out the forms, and checked the boxes. And then you are out riding your bike and get hit with a car. A few hours later, your next of kin is being told that you are brain dead.

At this point they ask a question. They ask them if they can use your organs. Because now that you aren't breathing on your own and can't make any choices, your next of kin get to make this choice.

And they are grieving. I've done my share of grieving. This is not the time when you want them to have to talk about this. But if they don't, it will be too late.

I shocked the doctor that told me that my son was not going to live when I asked him about organ donation. I asked the doctor if there was any need for my son's organs by anyone else. I think he had prepared for lots of different questions, but this was not one of them. He had to go and make some calls.

As a society, we need to re-examine how this works. I'd like to see my choice to be an organ donor be the default option. The doctor kindly tells my next of kin that they should say goodby before the transplant surgeons come. But not give them a decision to make.

I already made it. I want to be part of a miracle.