I lost a good friend of mine - Jan was a beloved wife and foster mother - at the age of 45 to a brain aneurism. As we gathered around her hospital bed, the doctor came in and gave us the bad news - that there was no brain activity. She was gone.
It was then that her husband was asked if he wanted to donate her organs. He invited her friends to help him make that decision because, as she had loved and given so selflessly of herself in life, it was fitting that her final act should be reflective of her life - giving it away - even in her death.
It was a year later that Jan's husband began to share with us the organ recipients' thank-you letters he'd received. They told of the gift of life that Jan had given them and it helped comfort us to know that someone had Jan's heart, someone had her liver, someone had her kidneys, and many other lives that had been saved through her final, generous act.
When my father teaches that we need a self-image transplant, I think of Jan and the organ recipients. When they put a new heart in the person who received it, they first removed the old, damaged, dying heart. They didn't put the new heart in side by side with the old heart.
The same is true of us when we receive a self-image transplant. When we get a new self-image, our old, damaged, dying self-image is replaced with the image of Christ, the heart of Christ. We have to allow Christ to remove our old heart, our old self-image, and to "die to self" to allow Christ to live in us.
That's living! Abundantly!