A New Strain of Compassion

The news of a new and more resistant strain of the AIDS virus has me a little concerned. A lot concerned, actually. If this one blows up and affects us all, then we will need to come together and plan how to help out.

– A new strain of compassion will be called for

– Many more of our young people should train as nurses and care assistants

– The church will need to be more honest with itself – many inside the church will fall victim to the disease

– Continue to promote moral uprightness, but not use it as a hammer to condemn those who have strayed

– The gay community will need to be more open to allowing Jesus followers to assist in the care of AIDS sufferers

– Maybe we should all think more seriously about the miracle of healing, even the conservatives

– More of us should open our houses – a spare room for someone dying with AIDS

But its too early to be thinking of these things. Or is it?

For the record, we tried unsuccessfully to act as counselors for AIDS sufferers in the Hospice at the San Francisco Medical Center, but were able to befriend many AIDS victims and also host a young man with AIDS in our house for almost a year.

His name was George – a young prostitute and heroin addict in San Francisco. We enjoyed having him in the house, but he had to leave when we discovered needles in our bathroom. We drew the line when it came to the safety of our household – and he had already agreed that he would not use heroin in our house – He broke the rules, a few times, and we told him to leave. But we often think fondly of him. God bless him, wherever he is.

The fact is, that if an epidemic of AIDS breaks out in a manner more severe than what we have already experienced, there will not be enough hospital beds to go around. Families and house owners will be asked to open up spare rooms for those dying of AIDS. This will be an opportunity for compassion and courage. And having done it, with my wife and children, and with only one bathroom for us all, I can say that people need to get over their fears, trust God to keep them safe, and treat infectious people in the same way that Jesus did – love them, touch them, be with them, and if God allows, heal them. And if God does not allow the healing, then be there at the end and weep at their funerals.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Gabby says:

    Just the other day I thought I brushed my teeth with the toothbrush my mom uses… who is HVC+. I was in fear, but she completely trusted the Lord that He’d protect(ed) me. It turned out that was a friend’s boothbrush. It boosted my faith and made me more ready for the expectable happenings you described.

  • Mike says:

    I wonder why the “old strain” didn’t move us to a “new strain” of compassion…

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