Remembering Transplant Day
It’s 'Transplant Day Anniversary' in our home today. The memories still cause my heart to thud loudly in my ears.
Walking my 5 year old daughter to the empty waiting room to wait for the surgical procedure, where they would harvest her bone marrow, in a life-giving transplant for her baby sister. My son was off eating pancakes laced with Aunt Jemima, and our little girl, blessedly unaware at 9 months old, was plopped in her bumbo chair hanging out with her daddy and the nurses as they prepared.
In that empty waiting room we met the kind anaesthetist, who explained how she’d be put to sleep, that we’d say goodbye in the waiting room, then walk through the double doors with the doctor to the operating suite. We both knew we’d have to hug and say goodbye here, but that hadn’t stopped us from praying early that morning in the hotel room. Her one prayer that day was that I could walk with her into the operating room.
The anaesthetist asked us if we had any questions. My daughter looked up with wide, pleading eyes. Seeing the unasked question, the anaesthetist glanced back at me. I knew the risk would be a no, but took a breath in, and explained “she’s wondering if I can walk with her to the operating room.”
The kindness in her eyes smiled, “today is a very special day. I think that will be okay.”
God began that day with answered prayer.
Transplant day anniversary brings back a lot of memories, and as our family remembers pieces of that journey today, on this resurrection Sunday, we are vividly pointed to the greatest transplant ever provided.
A life-threatening problem
The problem with our little girl’s immune system was unseen, until a severe pneumonia invaded her little body. Even for weeks as she slowly recovered, the cause was yet undiscovered.
In contrast, the dire state of our sinful nature is not hidden. From the violent evil we observe in the world, to our own selfish, self-worshiping tendencies, we are reminded of sin’s binding grip, separating us from God. Yet, we haven’t been left or abandoned to succumb to the deathly consequences.
Treatment involved a gift
Out of his extravagant love and mercy, God gave us Jesus, to live a life of perfect obedience, to suffer humiliation and pain, that he would take on the punishment of our sin. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1Pet 2:24).
So this gift of restoration given, that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Without acknowledging the problem, the treatment will remain elusive. Yet, when our eyes are opened to the reality of our sin, the blood of Jesus, offered in our place, cleanses and restores us.
It's righteousness that we don't have and cannot earn, but is attributed to us when we love and follow Christ.
Healing changed everything
Created in the image of God, fallen into sin, and restored by Christ, our life story has changed with new purpose and life. We “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Col 3:10).
As we have been redeemed into God’s family, transplanted with righteousness, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, the function of our body has been restored with the purpose for the glory of God, and the good of others, as we wait for his return to make all things new again.
The gospel changes everything.
On this beautiful resurrection Sunday, I’m reminded of a season where I didn’t know up from down, the power of prayers lifted by the global church, and the moments of opportunity to bring Jesus to those around me, even in chaos.
I see the gift of life God has given us in restoring our daughter’s health, and the picture it represents of God’s healing forgiveness through Christ, the righteousness that was never my own has been given, in the absolute wonder of grace and mercy.
Remembering the cost, the gift, and the hope resurrection Sunday brings to our life, we celebrate today. He is risen!