Top Topics


Please join us on these social networks:

Day1 Store

Books, CDs, Videos & more

Visit The Store

The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

Buy Now

The Rev. Susan Sparks The Rev. Susan Sparks
The Rev. Susan Sparks is a former trial lawyer who now serves as senior pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York, NY.

Member of:

American Baptist Churches USA

Representative of:

Madison Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY

We Be of One Blood, Ye and I

September 06, 2011


I am not a blood kind of person. I don't like Steven King movies, I've never read Twilight, and I don't watch CSI. That said, last week I may have changed my mind.

I noticed a piece last Wednesday in the New York Times about a surprising impact from hurricane Irene. In addition to the downed trees and power outages, one of the unexpected ramifications in New York City was a shortage in the local blood banks. Due to the shutdown of the MTA, many of the local blood drives had been cancelled. Consequently, the blood supply was in "dire need" of resupply.

Wondering how such a crisis was handled, I did a little research on the Red Cross website. While most blood supplies are maintained locally, when communities aren't able to sustain sufficient levels they sometimes have to look for outside help. This may mean help from another city or state, or even from another country. Last year, for example, the American Red Cross sent emergency shipments of blood to Haiti to help the earthquake victims.

The realities of blood sharing offer a poignant lesson on the common bonds of humanity, especially when you consider these two questions: Where does the blood come from and who does it save?

Blood types don't break down along racial or ethnic lines. They don't follow bounds of politics or religion. We not only share the same blood as our families, but we share the same blood as those who we believe to be strangers: those from a different culture, those who speak a different language, even those who worship differently than ourselves. Who knows ... a pro-choice, anti-war, feminist Wicca priestess might give blood in Height Ashbury and save the life of a right wing polygamist in Utah.

Blood crosses all boundaries; it bridges all barriers; no matter who you are or where you come from, blood is the one thing we all share. It's like Mowgli's famous line in the Jungle book: "We be of one blood, ye and I."

As we all know, this week marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. In a world where separation, fear and judgment are the norm, we must find a tangible way to remind ourselves of this shared human bond.

One way to do this? Give blood.

Beginning this week, a special nationwide blood drive will be held. But this is not just any blood drive, this is a blood drive sponsored by the Muslim community entitled "Muslims for Life." / In an attempt to collect 10,000 units of blood in the month of September, Muslim groups across the country are offering open blood drives to honor the victims of 9/11. It's not only a way to offer the gift of life; it is a way to make a statement about human solidarity.

I've changed my mind; I am a blood kind of person. And on this tenth anniversary of 9/11, perhaps you will become a blood kind of person too. Remember this shared connection. Remember our common bond. In the end, our conduct as human beings comes down to two basic choices: do we give blood or spill it? Let it be the former, for "We be of one blood, Ye and I."

Taken from my blog on      Psychology Today:

Printer print
Comment comments

Topic Tags

No current tags

Previous Article By This Author

The Lifeboat of Laughter

Previous Key Voice Article

Labor Day and the Kingdom

Next Article By This Author

No Rearview Mirrors

Next Key Voice Article

Are You Tired of the Church Rat Race?

The sermon content on this website is copyright © by the respective authors. For information on reprinting or excerpting sermon materials from this site, please contact us.