Monday, January 23, 2017

THE GIFT OF LIFE

We have started receiving thank you letters that I'm sure most folks hope they never get—the ones from the recipients of our son's organs.


There is the man with the new liver. He tells us he was really sick, and now he can go back to work and support his family.

Another letter is from a mom thanking us on behalf of her son, who's future revolved around soccer. He thought he was done forever. With his new ACL he can play again.

Someone else has a new kidney, and is released from the bondage of dialysis.

Bittersweet thoughts push my tears out as I try to imagine Jarrod's organs, pink and living inside of someone else.

I think of how athletic and alive Jarrod was, right up until the day he died. He could leap forward and do a full flip in the air, landing on his feet. I like the idea of some part of him energizing someone else.

We had never discussed organ donation with our son. How many parents broach that subject with a twenty one year old? We made our decision based how he lived. He had a servant's heart.



When his sister was going through tough times Jarrod often took her out and treated her to dinner and the movies. He hung out with her and made her laugh with his silly impersonations. When other men in his sister's life had let her down he was always there for her, sometimes buying groceries, putting gas in her car, or crawling around on the floor with his nieces clinging to his back.

When Rob and I were putting change in a jar for our trip to Hawaii we noticed one day how quickly it had filled up. Rob caught Jarrod walking by the bureau one day with a sly smile on his face. He had been tossing in the coins from his job waiting tables.

One of Jarrod's last acts of kindness was a fish fry for the homeless. He and his friend had caught more fish than they could eat so they grabbed a portable grill and headed down to the local homeless camp. I'll never forget the joy in his eyes when he asked his dad to recommend which seasoning to buy.

So it really wasn't hard to imagine what Jarrod would want to do with his organs.

I am so proud of our son. Like Christ himself Jarrod offered his body up for others. He knew he'd get a new one anyway. 

2 Corinthians 5: 1-2: For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.


I wish all of Jarrod's recipients many healthy years. May that precious spark of life inside you somehow bring you closer to knowing the Lord like our Jarrod did.

So someday all of you will have a heavenly reunion in your new, perfect bodies.