My First Encounter With AIDS

In searching through an old file, I found this story from seven years ago … 

I knew Calvin fairly well. We had known each other for about two years but I never initiated our meetings. In fact, I was never excited to see him. Our meetings began with a knock on the door. Under my breath I would mutter, “Please don’t be Calvin.” It was usually Calvin. He would need a combination of the following things: food, money, transportation, or a place to sleep (he often slept on the couch we placed on the front porch). I gave him what he needed … begrudgingly.

One day Calvin’s “wife” stopped by the house and let me know that
Calvin was in the hospital and dying. I stood with an absolute loss of words beside his hospital bed. I had never met a person dying of AIDS let alone been in the place to minister to a person dying of AIDS. I had no words. Literally.  That’s not a figure of speech. I was going to leave the hospital without even praying. His “wife” had to stop and ask me to pray. I mumbled through a prayer.

Calvin recovered but died about nine months later.  Alone. 

As I walked out of that hospital my eyes were opened.   I truly felt like singing, “I was blind but now I see.” With my eyes open I could see that what I did for Calvin resulted from an obligation or a desire to get Calvin off of my porch. With my eyes opened I could see that all the things I had done for Calvin did not stem from the love of Christ. And this was made evident when I stood at the foot of his hospital bed at a complete loss for words. It was made evident when I had to be reminded to pray.

I needed my eyes opened and Jesus did just that.

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