An AIDS Day apology

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.


  1. #1 by Christine Smith on December 2, 2010 - 4:50 PM

    I guess maybe it’s because we don’t see it too much in our white suburban, sanitized existence (at least that’s where Jim and I are) but you’re right – God weeps over all those who are affected like this and all the other stunningly horrible things that go on all over the world every day. Only one as mighty and powerful as God could even take it all in. My younger kids thought I was making it up this week when I was trying to tell them that thousands of people die every single day for lack of clean drinking water. Out of sight, out of mind. But no one is EVER out of God’s sight. Blessings and peace to you today.

    • #2 by Dave Kirby on December 3, 2010 - 1:24 PM

      Agreed. And I think, unfortunately, we want it that way: safe, removed, comfortable. I know I want it that way. The alternative is scary. Getting out there and making myself vulnerable to the least of these is uncomfortable. I haven’t done that nearly enough…but I want to.

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