The Transplant House is set up with six rooms for six patients and their caregivers. There are no TVs in the bedrooms, as they want to develop a sense of community. The kitchen is large and has the same intended purpose. Let me be the first to tell you: your housemates become your support group. You are there to cheer them on when they are discharged from the hospital. You are there to pray for them when they spike a fever and the word "rejection" is fearfully whispered.
Today, two of our beloved patients (and their caregivers) are leaving. One is going home after nearly 3 months here. She came for what she thought would be a one week testing period. They never let her leave. She received a liver shortly after she arrived and has been recovering in Casita 7 ever since. Another one is leaving for only a short time. This was her week of testing. She will return next week to see if she is approved for a heart, and then will be on stand-by until one is made available.
I just want to take an aside to encourage you to make sure you are a donor. The easiest way is to be a donor when you pass away. There are over 6 organs that can be used to save the lives of others. Most states allow you to check a box on your driver's license. Please make sure that your loved ones know about your wishes as well. The alternative way is to be a live donor. You can actually have your blood tested and be put into a "bank" waiting to be matched. You can be a live kidney and bone marrow donor. If a recipient does come up as a match, the registry will contact you. You have the option to cancel at any time.
Back to dinner. We were celebrating last night with a huge Fajita Fiesta. Alone, we had meager ingredients, but together, we had a feast. As the caregivers were preparing the food, a new patient and caregiver arrived. We looked at our 6 chicken breasts, one bell pepper, one onion, and 20 tortillas (to feed the 9 of us) and invited them to dinner anyway! After all, we knew what it was like to drive for hours, unsure about the future.
Dinner was DELICIOUS! I love to eat fajitas at restaurants, but this was seriously better. AND, we had leftovers. That reminded me of a time when God provided for the masses and had leftovers.
The story is a childhood favorite. Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
13When Jesus heard what had happened (the beheading of John the Baptist), He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed Him on foot from the towns. 14When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15As evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18“Bring them here to me,” He said. 19And He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
- What Jesus was originally given seemed insufficient, but in His hands it became more than enough. We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is meager, but He can use and multiply whatever we give Him; whether it is talent, time, or treasure. It is when we give them to Jesus that our resources are multiplied.
- The disciples focused their attention on what they didn't have (food and money). Do you think God would ask you to do something that you and He together couldn't handle? Don't let your lack of resources blind you to seeing God's power.
- We can limit what God does in us by assuming what is and is not possible. Don't let your estimate of what can't be done keep you from taking on the task. God can do the miraculous; trust Him to provide the resources.
- The disciples are contrasted with the youngster who brought what he had. They certainly had more resources than the boy, but they knew they didn't have enough, so they didn't give anything at all. The boy gave what little he had, and it made all the difference. If we offer nothing to God, He will have nothing to use. But He can take what little we have and turn it into something great.
- Is there some impossible task that you believe God wants you to do?