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By mid-February, Doug and I had been talking quite intensely for over two weeks, and we were still just friends although I had pretty much decided I was madly in love with him. He was unlike anyone I had ever met! Considering my upbringing by two fairly unorthodox people and all of the other unorthodox people I had encountered in my young life, that was quite something for me. But Doug broached subjects about the Lord and living in ways I had never heard despite being a Christian from the age of 10 and regularly going to church from that time on. He was curious about life, fearless in his honesty and not afraid to wonder. Most telling was his being comfortable in his own skin. For someone at the age of 21 to be that comfortable is not human. I would say it’s not natural, but really, it should be natural to Christians.

Doug was at ease in the Lord, and this gave him the freedom to speak and question and encourage others to do likewise. His encouragement was done with such kindness, and he would throw out a question that would resound for days and would at times dramatically alter my view of the Lord and what could be. He was very much into philosophy, and we had myriad discussions about the writings of such as Descartes, Kant, Sarte, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, as well as the Bible, and I appreciated his willingness to consider what others had said about God while still being grounded in his relationship with the Almighty. Mostly I loved how he wanted to understand reality.

Valentine’s Day came, and I had forgotten about the student government fundraiser selling Valentine messages to students and to be delivered during the class with Doug. When the messages started arriving, we were all sitting in our usual spots — Doug was over to the side of us all, and I was toward the back of the room and somewhat away from the door. In walked a guy with a big bunch of roses. He looked around and called my name. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Seriously. I was flabbergasted because before that day, I had never received a romantic Valentine’s gift (not even a card) from anyone. I was stunned. As my embarrassed grin started to subside, in walked another guy who had a box of chocolates. Someone else had sent me candy. I think my ears were ringing about this time, which was a shame since not a moment later, in came another messenger with a singing telegram to me from yet another guy.

This would have all been great (and I do have a grin on my face while I’m typing this, so I’m enjoying it now LOL!), but I could see Doug out of the corner of my eye observing and questioning what was going on and knowing he had not sent the gifts. I wanted to say, “I never get these kinds of things! I’m not into this! This isn’t me!” and it wasn’t. Even though I appreciated the gifts and was humbled by them, in that moment, it became apparent Doug’s zealous pursuit of reality was more compelling, and I wanted more of it.

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Doug needs a kidney transplant. He was recently added to the deceased donor list and has a wait of up to five years. But he has been advised a living donor kidney is best. So I come with this blog to make others aware and to encourage him. For more info, please see the “Kidney Donation” page.