It’s amazing how something seen initially as a curse can become a blessing. Alcoholism, when accepted, becomes a source of well-being and inspiration. Cancer, when accepted, brings the key to a spiritual search that leads to Christ and inner peace. HIV, when accepted, can be the beginning of a healthy lifestyle, an awareness of being human and a new creation in Christ, and the opportunity to serve in a unique way the needs of others.
I beginning to meet people and read more and more about the importance of the ‘dark shadow’ in people’s lives – the hurtful experience in our lives – the ‘dark shadow’ that few people are willing to talk about. It is in our ‘dark shadow’, I believe, that disease (I have few friends with HIV/AIDS in mind as I write this) has a special place because it gets mingled with fear and strength, shame and hope, rejection and love. If we are able to confront our disease and speak about all the feelings that surround it and seek Christ in it, then we become aware of who we are in a most special way. God in Christ loves you and me. It’s cliché but true: disease presents challenges that lead to growth.
Friends, to face and live with a disease on a daily basis, inviting it to be the source of dependence on God’s grace and use that opportunity to serve others, and making it a friend, is a unique life experience. I don’t have a serious ‘dark shadow’ in my life, but I observed that those who face lives with a disease in a way that is glorifying God have a blessed life indeed. Isaac Tan, founder of Crisis Home, a non-profit ministry caring for people living with HIV/AID, have many great stories to tell. Stories about how the ‘dark shadow’ can become a living hope, well of inspiration and create awareness in people’s lives. Most teachers, have at some time been forced to confront their ‘dark shadow’ and we all are the beneficiaries. I’m one of the benefactors. I’m not sure what I’m getting at as I write this… but thank you. Thank you for those who stay strong living in their ‘dark shadow’ and making the Light known in your ministry. Thank you for your unique ministry.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.