Greater love has no man than this, that he … donates his kidney to someone in need? While that’s definitely not the point that John 15:13 is trying to get across, giving someone else an organ is certainly an amazing sign of love.
One Indiana pastor proved as much when a young parishioner fell ill. And in doing so, he became an instrument of a strange act of providence.
According to WTHR, 9-year-old Alana Miller started experiencing strange symptoms when she was just a little girl.
“It was sad because I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.
Eventually, physicians diagnosed Alana with a kidney disease when she was only 6.
A year later, they gave her the bad news: She would need a new organ.
“I had put out a prayer request to the church that if anyone would have any interest to pray about it if it’s on their heart,” Her mother, Jennie Miller, told WRTV.
“You just pray that the perfect donor will be found,” she added.
Often, such a request would generate lots of well-intentioned sympathies but precious little else.
But that’s not what happened. The Miller family’s pastor, Chris McLaughlin of Stones Crossing Church, decided that he would personally step up.
He got tested — and, lo and behold, he was a match.
“I really see God in the midst of this,” McLaughlin said. “That this is something that God had set up from the very beginning.”
He hardly knew the half of it. It seemed as though God had specifically formed him as a match for young Alana.
Of course, no one would realize it until McLaughlin went under the knife. Once he did, surgeons quickly realized something was wrong (so to speak) with his kidney.
“His blood vessels came out in an abnormal fashion,” transplant surgeon Dr. William Goggins of IU Health said.
“They don’t come out in the center of the kidney. They come out at the top of the kidney. … When you’re dealing with small kids, where the blood vessels go and how they attach are the most important things.”
But the kidney fit perfectly into Alana.
“When Dr. Goggins told me, his exact words were, ‘It’s as if your kidney was meant for her,’” McLaughlin recalled.
Goggins added, “Somebody upstairs really wants her to get this kidney, because it was so perfectly set up for her.”
Alana herself is thankful for her pastor’s sacrifice. “I feel way better, I have a ton more energy,” she said.
“I’m just so grateful. Now I can do a bunch of things like other kids can do.”