Today (Dec. 1st is World AIDS Day…..and while I am not posting something on the Daily Office today..I feel that I should share some thoughts.

AIDS, like many other STI’s is a terrifying prospect for everyone. Most people hear the acronym and take it for an automatic and agonizing death sentence. The truth is, medicine has advanced a great deal since the 80s and while the virus is still terminal, it does not mean that the people who have it are any less human than we are.

People who get STI’s are just like you and me…..oftentimes they are in loving, committed, relationships…..but aren’t necessarily comfortable with talking about their sex-lives with their significant others….particularly if there is shame, emotional hurt or fear attached to it.

If you think you might be at risk, get tested……and if you are in the London area specifically….here’s a place in my own community that does an outstanding job.

For those who are unsure what to do in response to the AIDS epidemic, or are struggling with what a faithful Christian response might be…..I have a suggestion…and that is the ministry of presence.

If you know someone who is sick….be with them……if you know someone who might be afraid of what the future may hold because of a diagnosis…..hold their hand and offer an ear.

The Father says that we are to be still and know that he is God. Why not follow that example??? Silence isn’t always stoic….it can be attentive and loving too…and for those who are on the margins…..sometimes the strength and moments of stillness that a friend and confidant can provide is all that they need.

May God be with each of us as we continue the walk of faith….ready to kiss the leper clean and follow Christ by both word and example. +

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