I recently read an article about Australian man James Harrison. To most, he’s an unassuming guy in his 80’s, but to some, Harrison is known as the “Man with the Golden Arm,” because he was a blood plasma donor of epic proportions. Harrison donated his plasma an astonishing 1,173 times over sixty years. Experts estimate his plasma saved the lives of 2.4 million unborn babies in Australia.
When he was 14, blood donations saved Harrison’s life, so he pledged to become a donor. Several years later, doctors determined that Harrison’s blood composition contained unique disease-fighting antibodies. Doctors developed his blood into an injection that helped stop rhesus disease, which causes a woman’s blood to attack the blood cells of her unborn child. Harrison held the cure and humbly chose to share it with others, saying, “It’s something I can do. It’s one of my talents, probably my only talent, is that I can be a blood donor.”
As often happens, this remarkable story made me think about mentoring. Just as James Harrison’s blood was uniquely equipped to impact the lives of those with rhesus disease, each of us, through our own life experience, are uniquely equipped to impact the lives of those a season or two of life behind us. Especially since, we, as Jesus-followers, hold the ultimate cure . . . Jesus living in and through us.
Even further, just like our friend James Harrison, those who choose to mentor have, knowing they hold the cure, raised their hands, and said, “It’s something I can do.”
Mentors, potential mentors, and readers . . . your unique life experience is of significant value to others. When you look back and examine where God showed up in your life, you can offer encouragement and perspective to those a season or two of life behind you.
In a video testimonial, former mentee John Ott challenged potential mentors with this, “You’re so close to the lessons God has taught you throughout your life, they’ve become unremarkable to you . . . the reality is, there’s a generation that’s coming behind you, and they haven’t learned those lessons yet. For them to have access to your life, and the lessons you’ve learned would profoundly influence the course of the days to come in their lives.”
James Harrison profoundly influenced the course of millions of lives by giving others access to his blood, providing them with a life-giving cure. You have the opportunity to give others access to your life experience. It may just be the cure to providing “life to the full” for someone else.
Scripture: I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. (John 10:10b)