Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Help We Need

Alex Pickens III
I had a needle in my arm and heard Penny say, "We've been duped!"  Half asleep, I turned and found her opening packets, each empty. I really needed what she wasn't finding and time was running out.

I needed Io-Gone packets to remove iodine after blood donation.  If left on the skin, iodine develops a rash and eventually allergies.  Penny saw I needed help but was unable to provide what I needed.  My experience donating blood reminded me of so many students' experiences at Michigan State University (MSU).

Fake packet and real packet
Eric was a student at MSU with a needle in his arm.  Instead of donating blood, he was shooting heroin.  I read his family's story of being duped; of running out of time.  His father believes he was introduced to controlled substances in student housing.

This month, I visited student housing, Shaw Hall on MSU's campus, to counsel a student.  Drug abuse wasn't the issue, but he was going through a tough time.  I didn't take Io-Gone swabs or Narcan to counter heroin.  I listened to him and realized he needed a word of hope as a reminder of God's love.
Alex's clean arm

I shared Psalm 1 and the reminder that God bears fruit in our lives in seasons.  The American Red Cross will not allow me to donate blood for another eight weeks.  I want to help out but must wait for my season.  As a season must pass in my life, so seasons pass in students' lives.  I opened a packet of scripture and it did the trick.  We're meeting again next week for follow-up.

Many students at MSU are in need of a word of hope.  Alcohol, gaming binges, hook ups and narcotics are efforts to get through tough times that leave students empty.  They need help, as I needed help on a blood donation table.  Christian ministries, including Connection: a student outreach of University Baptist Church, are providing help.
Blood donation badge

Counseling, small group events, ministry internships and mentoring through Kids Hope USA offer students opportunities to find help while in college.  

Penny found the help I needed after her fourth try.  All cleaned up and off the donation table, I realized the importance of the work I'm doing with students.  They need help and, by God's grace, I do for them what Penny did for me.  I work to find the help they need before their time, and mine, on campus runs out.

No comments:

Post a Comment