At our JSK centre we have admitted a young man with HIV has a fever - a fever that does not seem to be coming down. His mother - a sad, quiet woman has come to be with him. We are praying - and are giving him some high-level medications - but do not know yet why the fever continues. This young man has known he has HIV for almost a decade now - but has just in the last few months started to do things for God. Somehow, it is when we start taking steps of faith that all hell breaks loose - literally!
On the other side of India, an HIV positive doctor sees patients in a goverment hospital in a coastal city. He has suffered much rejection over the years and today is at home with his mother and siblings and the local church. The demons he fights are real - and also imaginary. Yet he carries on - seeing almost a 100 patients every day who come from near and far for the free Anti-retroviral (ART) medications that the goverment ART centre gives them. Having suffered severe neurological episodes over 5 years ago - it is a miracle that this doctor is able to continue to function and serve.
In our staff team we also have people with HIV serving. They are broken vessels - full of needs and challenges - and places where they need to improve.
Just like each one of us who may or may not know our HIV status. How many flaws we have. How quickly we can see our short-comings and failures. How often our own selfishness - our own laziness - our own pride-in-who-we-are-and-what-we-know gets in the way of genuine progress in people's lives.
Having HIV does not make people into angels. Neither does not having it.
Our challenge is moving forward and being a blessing to others, while at the same time being transformed ourselves.
We fool ourselves if we wait till we are perfect before we seek to serve others. We also fool ourselves in saying it doesn't matter what we do - and with what motives - as long as we are trying to do something (that we think) is positive.
Someone said: "Saints above are full of glory - saints below? That's a different story"
How gracious our loving Lord is - who patiently moves us along - and yet also seeks that we genuinely change - for the better!