So today is World AIDS Day, designated by the World Health Organization to commemorate the tragic deaths of millions of people over the last 30 years. And I have a confession to make: I haven’t really cared much.
30 million people have lost their lives, and I’ve not lost any sleep over it. A child is orphaned by AIDS every 14 seconds, and I’m not weeping.
I’m ashamed to say that I’ve bought the lie about AIDS. I have chalked it up as a “gay disease” or something that happens as the “consequences of sin”. I’ve been so focused on WHY people get AIDS, that I’ve missed the point. I’ve forgotten that 30 million human beings are dead. I’ve forgotten grieving families and orphaned children. I’ve forgotten that a Father – who gave His Son for them – weeps over their deaths.
Shame on me! I am truly sorry.
If we are going to start qualifying for God’s mercy, then who can stand? “Oh well, you ate too much and have heart disease…you’re out of luck.” “You got addicted to substances and screwed up your liver…forget you!” Really?
Psalm 113:7 says,
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
It doesn’t qualify WHY they are in the dust. It doesn’t eliminate certain reasons why they are in the ash heap. This scripture screams of a merciful God who reaches into the dust and ashes of our lives and lifts us up. I might not have AIDS, but I have certainly been lifted out of the ash heap. You might not be HIV positive, but you have certainly been raised from the dust.
Remember, if we deserved it, it wouldn’t be called mercy.