Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Anyone who thinks that the fight that people with HIV face is over thanks to medical advances is sadly wrong.

We are not dealing with a disease which has become as common-place as a head-ache - take two crocins (insert your local brand-name analgesic here) and feel better.

We still face a disease whose very name means horror.

Today two new contacts met Sheba.

The first was a young man of 25 years. Married, with a child. His treating physician told him that: "you are finished." A death sentence. He was amazed to hear Sheba talk positively about what can be done. Very grateful to hear about something hopeful. Very willing to be met at home and followed up by our team.

The second man came with partial paralysis. His brother accompanied him - an austere man with a large red tilak on his forehead. But as Sheba started talking and showing what physiotherapy can be done to help the affected brother regain his movement - the coldness dissappeared.

How horribly our dear friends are treated. How important to show kindness and hope. How possible this is through our knowledge that our Lord Jesus really loves us. We have all messed up. So badly. So consistently. And yet we are a hug away from our Lord.

And our Lord wants to use our arms to give His hug to others.

The truth about AIDS is that it brings the truth to the surface. The truth of our past. The truth of what our relatives and friends really feel about us. The truth of our own mortality (and at least portions of our morality). The truth of how much we need to be touched - and loved - and accepted. And how much we need something more than ourselves.

This last month has showed us again how flawed we are in our team, in our church. How much we bicker and fight. How closed our minds and hearts are.

But the hope we have is that God's love can overwhelm our feeble flickers. His heart can speak even through our limited tongues. His touch can warm even through our cold fingers.

If we have to be perfect to help others... then we might as well wait for the next ice-age.

Love is a necessity. HIV/AIDS forces us to see this. It shoves it into our face - whether we like it or not. There are only two options. Act or ignore.

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