Lord's Day Liturgy

Bloody Serious

Anemia is a deficiency in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood, or even more simply, a deficiency of blood in a living body (The Century Dictionary). The word anemia comes from the compound of two Greek words, an- meaning “without” and haima which means “blood.” Anemia results in loss of color, loss of energy, loss of strength, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats. Anemia is on a spectrum; you may be slightly or extremely anemic. It might be that your body is having a hard time producing red blood cells or it might happen that you have a serious incident of loss. Many moms are anemic for a while after the birthing process.

Seven years ago on February 4th I came home from teaching my classes feeling sluggish, but ran six miles on my treadmill anyway and then went to our elders lunch. I wasn’t feeling well—pale and sweaty and drained—and had to bail out to the car to lay down before the guys were finished meeting. Jonathan told Mo that afternoon that he thought something was really wrong because I had ordered the “girl-size” at MOD Pizza. I really thought I had a bad cold. Mo made an appointment for me with my family doctor that evening, and he called an aid car for me to ride to the hospital where I spent the next four days.

It turns out I had an internal bleed and had lost half of my blood.

There was no conclusion on the cause after a variety of tests and -oscopies. I was on the edge of getting a transfusion, but they decided to let me build back red blood cells on my own with iron supplements and such. At first I was so worn out that watching TV took too much energy. That was also the start of problems with my internal temperature system, and one of the reasons there’s a fan built into the pulpit; I’m often hot/cold when I should be the opposite.

How true when the Lord said, “the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life” (Leviticus 17:14). I had used anemia as an analogy for spiritual life before, little did I know how bloody serious it is. If you’re sinning, stop the bleed. It will drain the life right out of you.