Are we too happy about the cross?

Walk of Honor

I attended a Walk of Honor this week. For those who don’t know what that is – when the time comes for an organ donor to have their organs donated after death, staff at a hospital line the walls of a hallway as the deceased individual is wheeled to the operating room for what is called “organ recovery.” I happened to be in the vicinity of a Walk of Honor this week and watched as a deceased young adult man was wheeled past me as grieving family members followed in procession style. By the looks of things, the grieving group was comprised of grandparents, parents, aunts, nieces and nephews. Tears were falling down cheeks as they said goodbye to a grandson, son, uncle, or daddy. Someone started to clap weakly. A few more joined in softly but then the efforts faded quickly. I wondered if it just didn’t feel right to clap. I understood that what I was watching was heroic. but I know it didn’t feel right to clap either.

I left immediately. It was dark as I drove in silence processing my feelings and thoughts about what I just saw. I cried for several reasons.

Giving life includes death.

The young man’s organs are now dispersed and transplanted into the once ailing bodies of other people who are now enjoying an extended life. At first glance, this may seem like a reason for a party. Yes, people receive the gift of an extended life from donated organs, but they do so because another family has suffered a devastating tragedy with repercussions that will last a lifetime. For me, the Walk of Honor was not a celebration. Words I would use to describe how I felt include respect, gratitude, reverence, and sobered.

I have not been appreciative enough.

Besides shedding tears for the donor family, I cried on the way home because my Savior, Jesus Christ, also died so I can live. I considered whether I have ever been too “happy-happy” about Jesus dying on the cross. I ended up confessing to God that I have been too glib – probably many times — about the sacrifice our Savior made. Jesus died. Jesus died a tortuous death. What He did to provide eternal life and pay for our sins is not a happy-happy celebration. I think it’s more an event deserving of reverent gratitude.

Something has shifted deep within me because of attending a Walk of Honor. I have a deeper appreciation for the cross and now have more reverent joy as a recipient of the eternal life Jesus provided.

Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

I have not been generous enough.

The donor in the Walk of Honor has offered his organs without knowing who was receiving them. He did not care about the recipients’ criterion. He made the decision knowing people of varying faiths, ages, moralities, jobs, etc. were going to benefit from his death. He just decided to give no matter who received his gift of love. Like the organ donor I observed this week, Jesus died for everyone. The good, moral, bad, evil, immature, mature, etc. His gift was for all.

What a generous spirit our Savior had on the cross. Arms open wide – literally – Jesus died for all. No measuring. Just love for all. But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) Today I bow my knee to a gift I didn’t deserve. And I can only hope God matures me to the point where such generous love can be expressed through me in the same exact way Jesus and a donor this week decided.

Picture Explanation: Someone gave me flowers this Valentine’s day and they were very meaningful to me. Just as meaningful is a place where death and life reside together — the tension of life.

Speaking of living with eternity in mind: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

6 Responses

  1. Dear Laurie. Thank you for this thoughtful post that helps us to better grasp the cost that both Christ and organ donors and their families pay. You know that cost as Dan was rolled down a hallway decades ago so that others might live. I was praying for someone this week in need of a transplant. As I prayed, “Lord, please give ______ the organ they need,” it hit me; I am praying that someone dies so _______ has a chance to live. That is sobering and sad. It is courageous and honorable. It is a calculus and economy we cannot comprehend. Somehow, it is good in God’s sovereign plan for those who love Him. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the ultimate price!

  2. “The idea is not to live forever,” ~ Andy Warhol

    “But maybe to help someone live a little big longer.” ~ Donate Life

    My brother shared his extra kidney to me on 12.16.2014

  3. In organ recovery, a patient dies:
    his/ her organs recovered,
    and a person with a weak heart
    has a new lease on life:
    Thank you, Jesus, for being such a Sacrificial Giver, an Unconditional Lover, and a Beautiful Redeemer!
    You make all things new!

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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