Mrs. Johnson stood up from behind her desk and announced to her 4th grade class that their classmate Eric was very sick. She went on to say that Eric needed a blood transfusion as soon as possible. She asked the class who would like to donate blood to Eric. Ishmael raised his hand immediately. Mrs. Johnson gave Ishmael the necessary medical paperwork to take home to give to his parents.
The very next day, Ishmael ran up to Mrs. Johnson waving his signed medical paper. He excitedly told Mrs. Johnson that his mom was taking him to the hospital after school to donate blood to Eric. He asked that Mrs. Johnson come to the hospital during the procedure, which she agreed to do.
Patty moved her chair beside her son and the nurse gently inserted the needle into a vein on the back of his right hand. Ishmael looked up at his mom and mouthed the words “I love you”.
Later that afternoon at the hospital, after getting Ishmael’s mothers signature on a medical form, the nurse turned her attention to Ishmael. She told him that she was very impressed that he cared enough about his classmate to donate blood. She told him that giving blood is a brave thing to do. The nurse placed a rubber ball in Ishmael’s left hand and told him to squeeze it as she prepared to insert the needle into a vein on the back of his right hand.
I love you
Instead of the rubber ball, Ishmael asked if he could hold his mother’s hand. Patty moved her chair beside her son and the nurse gently inserted the needle into a vein on the back of his right hand. Ishmael looked up at his mom and mouthed the words “I love you”.
About 15 minutes had gone by and Patty looked over at her son, whom she thought had dozed off to sleep. Ishmael looked over and asked his mom how much longer he had. Pausing for a moment and bewildered by Ishmael’s question, Patty asked “How much longer do you have for what?” Ishmael asked, “How much longer do I have before I get to see Jesus?”
After a few seconds Patty’s light bulb came on. Ishmael didn’t understand the concept of donating blood. He thought he was giving all of his blood to his classmate. He thought he was literally giving up his life for Eric.
The tears began to roll down Patty’s face and she embraced her son like never before. She kissed his cheek gingerly and told him how very proud she was of him….
Snuggled in her warm embrace, Ishmael looked over at Mrs. Johnson and the nurse who were both crying uncontrollably.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends – John 15:13