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News 2

TIME Magazine, Dec.30, 1996, Jan.6, 1997 has an article describing personal and social consequences of AIDS. Noting the newer, expensive 3 drug combination-treatment of Schwartz in the U.S., it outlines rich-poor cleavages; and in the midst of it, some evidence of more-or-less infected caste among those afflicted, with psychological attitudes that are strangely like, but somehow divergent from those in a major war, such as the bombing blitz on London in 1940.

This is illustrative of life, as great crises and catastrophes can readily be. Thus some infected, Time reports, feel 'the present tense has a whole new pitch', and the simple words 'I am' seem to evoke nostalgia, while 'I will be' becomes for many a pleasure denied. It quotes one, that you 'feel the tip of the wing of the angel of death'.

Is realism anyway not aware of the intense fragility of the human biological unit? With little warning, cancer can strike like divorce, child drug dependence, or a car accident. Where lies the difference then, in the AIDS case? Is it not just this, that protection against reality is here reduced in the loss of normal capacity to create and live illusion? WHENEVER the supreme test comes, and it always could be soon in general terms, life is on trial biologically, mentally, morally and spiritually; and its terminus in this present form is not an option to discard - unless the Lord Jesus Christ should return before one's natural term arrives; and even that is of solace to some, not to others.

In spiritual parallel, the case has this difference, that this provides a negative option which some self-select. spiritual 'aids' is an option astonishingly in fact elected by most people; some with deep misgiving and regret, for their 'riches' of personality, money or hope, are great; but life? They sell it for a temporary expedient, and live the consequences. For them, treatment with the Gospel is near; disease of the soul is nearer, and God is available most nearly of all. Yet they run. From 'clinics' of hope, in the testimony of Jesus Christ and His capacity to exhibit and to confer eternal life, they run, or else walk briskly away. They may be young, flooded with autonomy, middle-aged, vexed with many cares, or old, holding more weakly but yet intensely to the grim vista of a self-run universe, which has never had the temerity to exist.

It is well to say "He is and therefore I am", and better to be able to declare, "He always is and I am His, and I always will be in Him." For Aids patients as for all others, in this there is no difference: He is available and appointments may be made without delay, waiting or expense. Christ preached the Gospel to the poor: as Isaiah predicted He would, as well as healing the sick (Isaiah 61, 35, 29). Poverty has no dividing lines here; and eternity is an issue for the robustly healthy no less than for those facing impending death. After all, it is God who made this magnificent equipment spread out in the human body for the work of the soul of man; and it is because of Him that there is angst and longing; for that is in the very meaning of life.

It is marvellous indeed that the solution and resolution, both in person and in principle is available without new discoveries, and may be neglected like other regimens; except that with this, its absence is guarantee of the eventual absence of all other resolutions, desire and beauty. It is only God who can unreservedly say - and who indeed does say, "I am" (John 8:58); and it is on His declaration that both creation depends, and the elevation "into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Colossians 1:13).

It is not a drug but death which is able to accomplish this in its very basis; and that death? As to that, it is not ours but His, for in Him and in Him only there is "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Ephesians 1:7). It WAS costly - to Him; and those as yet unredeemed need, as He also declared, to "count the cost". It is ALL costly; it is great that He paid and was delivered up for all those who through Him have "all things" (Romans 8:32). Not chance but negative choice can "deliver" you from this felicity. The negative option is funereal by choice.

One of the greatest magnificences, after the love that paid the price for those who should come to Him (Romans 8:32, 5:8-10), is this: that you do not need to be hauled squawking into heaven. You can freely go to hell - which leaves behind Aids as a mere temporal thing, however horrid - quite on your own.