God of beautifully broken bodies,
Of days of health
And nights of fevers,
We lament the loved ones lost
From complications to AIDS.
For those who watched friend after friend after friend die
In ’85 or ’87 or ’91.
For those wondering how they are still alive 30 years later.
Because of pills and procedures
Life doesn’t end with a diagnosis,
A gift of modern medicine.
For those who can’t afford medications,
Who must choose between food
And medical bills
And other bills
For our sisters and brothers around the world,
Those who don’t have western privilege
And first world medicine
And for the orphans and widows of this disease.
For those today who must wait twenty minutes to see if they have HIV-
Those twenty… long… minutes… of waiting, and worrying.
For those who will be in shock when hearing the word POSITIVE,
Requiring follow up medical care,
And for their bodies trying to adapt to new medications.
For those whose results allow them to move forward like nothing happened,
And for those whose negative means living life as if they could not catch it.
For those who still work to keep the stigma alive-
Attribute the disease to certain behaviors,
And certain people,
Disregarding the thought that when one person in the Body of Christ has a disease
All have it.
Forgetting that those who are negative pose more of a health risk
As the healthy bear germs that could kill an immune-resistant love one.
May they see that all of us are made in God’s image.
May their hearts and mind turn around.
And may all of us know the abundance of God steadfast grace,
Transmitting that love to all we meet.