So this evening as I was putting supper onto plates after swim practice and swim lessons, Aub came into the kitchen and asked: “So would you give Bubba part of your liver if he needed it?”
I dropped the spoon in the pasta salad.
Wait. What now?
Apparently she’s watching a show where this is a thing. Someone who is a recovering alcoholic has liver cancer and needs a liver transplant. His relative decides to give him part of hers.
Because that can happen. Live liver donors have become more common in recent years.
The liver regenerates itself, within a week sometimes but for sure within eight weeks.
First of all, how amazing is THAT?! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that–I mean, I remember the lizards and their tails when I was growing up, but for real–a liver can do that?
“Fearfully and wonderfully made…..” y’all. No doubt.
But back to my daughter’s question? Would I give part of my liver to my brother?
Ummmm, well, of course. Right? He’s a good guy. The youth at his church were raising money for “Malaria No More.” He promised them that if they met their goal, he would let them “Pie the Pastor.” They raised more than they had hoped, so yesterday, he got a lot of pie smeared on his face.
And he never lost his smile.
Yes. He can have my liver. What else you need, Bubba?
But then the questions got tricky. Would I give it to so and so? Would she?
To whom on this earth would we say no way, no how–you’re not getting any of my liver at all?
Whom, in essence, would we be wiling to give a death sentence to? I know that may seem overdramatic, but isn’t that kind of what it would be if we said no?
Yeah, somehow I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep tonight. I’m working through all of the darkness this question has brought up for me. Making me examine my own heart. And relationships. And wonder, who would say no to me if I needed part of their liver? And what have I done that would lead them to that decision?
I’ve got the working out of so many things to do for sure.
Tonight I’m thankful for deep conversations and for a child who is a thinker. She can make me laugh in a heartbeat, but she’s also willing to do the hard work of sorting through all sides of a difficult question. I give thanks for family and friends who love me despite my attitude and the shadows of my soul. I am amazed and grateful for the beautiful mysteries that our bodies are–regeneration–I can’t even. Most of all, I’m thankful for the people in my life for whom there is no question that I would do anything and everything to make life better for them. Because they unselfishly make my life better. And they challenge me to be a better person. Maybe even one who would not question giving her liver to anyone–but I’m not quite there yet.
May we all have someone to work through the difficult questions with–someone who challenges us and loves us despite our shortcomings.
Love to all.