He Did It Without Regret
'Tis the season of love. At this time of the year we usually think about love in the context of spousal love, or that which we have for our significant other. Visions of a baby in a diaper flying around and shooting arrows at sometimes unsuspecting couples are conjured in our minds. The Hallmark Channel is replete with love stories played so much that by the end of the season one can almost quote the entire script from memory. Occasionally, however, there comes an illustration of love in another realm that arrests our attention at this season. Here is one such account.
United States Senator Jake Garn of Utah did something most of us admire--and perhaps should consider doing ourselves. He donated one of his organs to save a life.
A recent survey says 73 percent of Americans approve organ donation. But only about 20 percent actually sign donor cards and make arrangements for our corneas, kidneys, or other organs to be used when we die.
In Senator Garn's case, however, he did not wait until his death to donate his left kidney. His 27-year-old daughter, Susan Garn Horne, suffered from progressive kidney failure due to diabetes. Her condition deteriorated, and doctors determined that she needed a kidney transplant immediately.
Jake Garn and his two sons were all found to be compatible donors. The senator insisted that he should be the one to give the kidney. "Her mother carried her for nine months," he said, "and I am honored to give her part of me."
So, on September 10, 1986, in a Washington, D.C. hospital, a six-hour surgical procedure was performed to remove one of his kidneys and to implant it into his daughter.
The radio news broadcast a story on Garns, and in it was a comment from the doctor who put the donated kidney into Susan's body. At a press briefing at Georgetown University Hospital, the doctor said, "The senator is awake, has a bit of a grin on his face. He seems very self-satisfied, and happy and peaceful."
The senator had to be in pain at that moment. The incision through which his kidney was removed goes from his back to his front ribs. There were tubes in him, needles yet to come, and several weeks of recuperation lying ahead. But he was smiling!
That grin on Jake Garn's face could have meant only one thing: no regrets. Love makes it possible for a person to do the most difficult and dreaded of things without looking back.
That is certainly a tremendous illustration of love-perhaps the greatest sacrifice a parent could make for his child. But there is another picture of love that is far greater. Think for a moment about what Jesus did to save you. He left the worship of angels to be born in a stable. He accepted the limitations of human form, suffered indignities of the greatest magnitude, and shed His lifeblood to purchase your redemption.
The most astounding thing about all He did is that there is not a word in the Bible which indicates that the Son of God regretted doing it. On the day of His ascension back to the Father, there may have been a bit of a grin on His face.
His only regret would come if you refused His gift of life.
This week's bulletin contributed by HBITS Vice-President, Dr. William Kryger