I went to a meeting last night for World A.I.D.S. Day. It was not very large although I live in a small town. I remember years ago that this would have been scandalous; an evangelist of the gospel at THIS kind of meeting.
Maybe I am getting soft in my old age but I think this is the kind of place Jesus would have gone; a place where hope is almost an illusion. Maybe it was the poignant moments where those who had died were spoken of; no last names...only first names. Who are these people? What were their hope and dreams? What of their families and friends?
Jesus got in trouble for spending time with people in trouble; people who were marginalized, people who were hiding from family, people who were fearful of being found out, people who were still hiding from family and friends. He would search for people with "issues" and marked with social or religious "stigma." He identified with them. He was a victim, in the end, of the same "system" that denied "identity" to those he spent time and compassion on.
Time and compassion...what else do we have? What else expresses the heart of the Gospel and the heart of God? God is present with people in trouble. He is looking for them. And if we hope to show His love we need to be looking for them. It does not take much...just a little time and compassion. Is this too much to ask of followers of the Messiah?