Monday, September 8, 2008

Giving Creatively

I was listening to Trinity Mennonite's podcast this week and heard a great sermon about creativity and giving. The pastor speaking shared a story about Zell Kravinsky, an American entrepreneur and activist with a very cool name. But his name isn't the only interesting thing about him. After learning about the difficulties of people waiting for kidney transplants--especially for low-income African-Americans--Zell chose to donate one of his kidneys to a complete stranger. At the risk of his own life and marriage--his wife wasn't too pleased with his decision--he had surgery and gave his kidney to a young woman who had been on a long waiting list. When later asked about why he had risked his life, Zell responded that there's only about a 1 in 4000 chance of dying from a kidney transplant surgery. Mathematically speaking, he didn't see his own life as 4000 times more valuable than anyone else's; he saw other people as equally valuable as himself.

Here's the thing that struck me most: he didn't just give away money or time or energy, like most of us do. He gave away one of his internal organs to a person in need. He saw a need, he saw that he could creatively fill the need and save a human life, so he took action and did it. It's obviously not always as black-and-white as "see a need, fulfill a need." But perhaps giving creatively is better than not giving at all. It seems like the kingdom of God in our midst.

Two other cool blog posts about creative giving that don't involve organs: The Bench Monster, and iPods for African pastors. Check them both out!

Have an idea or story for giving creatively? Share it!

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