Whilst watching television last night my grandson asked me why all the people were wearing red ribbons.
I then started to explain, about an infection that invades the body and destroys the good cells that make us better. I recalled my experience working as a nurse Zambia in 1990, when having the HIV virus was a death sentence; generations wiped out because of the virus. Yet through research and new medications, it is now not a death sentence.We have come a long way in recent years, in research, education, and social acceptance, yet we have only scratched the surface.
It is no accident that World Aids Day is at the beginning of Advent. Advent is waiting for a light to come into the darkness, a light to shine in all the murky corners, a light that will illuminate and radiate to bring a healing warmth, a light that will permeate into the deepest cells of our being, where red and white cells flow through veins.
Advent brings HOPE, and for people who live with HIV/AIDS, hope is a word that means Life not death.
God is the means by which this hope flourishes, through the determination of researchers and scientists, through the listening ears of friends, through actions of love, through prayers of the faithful, through understanding of strangers, through conversations, through publicity, through fundraising , through holding hands, through hugs, through saying ‘I am alongside you’, through saying ‘I want to be here’.
I ask that on World Aids Day you light a light in your home or work, and pray that Hope will continue to flourish through the goodness and commitment of many people, for we are all Gods people young or old, gay or straight.
Lord, in the murky areas of our life, shine a light and bring Hope
Lord, in the deepest void of despair, shine a light and bring Peace.
Lord, in the bitter words we hang onto, shine a light and bring Love.
Lord in the bewilderment of the future, shine a light and bring Joy.