Giving a Kidney Models RW

Before I became a lawyer, I worked as an engineer on a team that designed hemodialysis machines. While talking with patients going through dialysis, I learned how hard it is to live without a kidney.

Therefore, when I heard about a taxi driver who gave his kidney to a passenger because “God thought it was a good idea,” it caught my attention. If a video screen does not appear below, click here.

In the process of giving Rita Van Loenen a new life, Tom Chappell demonstrated the both the challenges and the blessings that come from following your highest values.

The challenge of living up to his values involved painful surgery and giving up a part of his own body. As he said, “I try to be as good to people as I can, but I never thought about giving somebody a part of me.”

Another key value in Tom’s life was to seek and follow God’s leading. As he said, ” I just had a talk with God, and God thought it would be a good idea.”

Even though following this values was challenging, Tom experienced blessings he never anticipated. In addition to giving Rita Van Loenen a new life, Tom found a new life as well when his story hit the news and reconnected him with a daughter he had not seen in thirty years.

I encourage you to follow Tom’s example by living up to your highest values. One way to do this is to memorize and practice the GPS acrostic every day.

  • Grade your values: Evaluate your current values
  • Pursue worthy values: Family, heroes, role models, employer
  • Serve others: It will make you happier!

If your values would move you to give up a kidney, I’ve actually got a dear friend who needs one … as do many other people (see the moving stories on this page).

If you’re not in a position to sacrifice a kidney, there are many other gifts you could give any time that would bless the people around you. Gifts of time, listening, encouragement, compassion, hospitality, forgiveness and material support …

… all of which are simply an overflowing of relational wisdom, the life-changing act of loving and serving others … even when they’re cranky.

-Ken Sande

Reflection Questions

  1. What do you find to be most surprising or inspiring about this story?
  2. Give two or three examples of the blessings that occur when people live up to their values.
  3. Give two or three examples of the problems that occur when people fail to live up to their values.
  4. If you were in Tom’s positions, would your value system have inspired you to do what he did?
  5. Even if you don’t feel called to give up a kidney, is there some other sacrifice you could make for another person that might improve his or her life? Are you willing to make it?

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2014 Ken Sande

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