After five years in various cities in California, living the homosexual lifestyle, Jeremy was returning to his Midwest home-with AIDS. He was hoping for much from his family but expecting little. During his years away, Jeremy had refused to write or call home. His parents likewise knew and eventually cared little about their son, finding his sexual lifestyle personally repulsive and socially embarrassing. But now, nearing the end, Jeremy sent word that he was coming home, he said, "to die."
This scenario is repeating itself daily throughout the country. Young men with AIDS hold out as long as they can and then, with reluctance, return home for what they hope will be care and acceptance from those they, paradoxically, both love and hate. The healing they seek is not so much physical as relational. The presence of these young men in families in our congregations forces us to learn how to minister to them. As soon as we offer pastoral care to homosexuals with AIDS, however, we recognize several ...1