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June 19, 2009

Another AIDS LifeCycle Story

Pastor Laurie Manning from the Skyline United Church of Christ in Oakland tells her story of riding in AIDS LifeCycle 8 despite injuries.

Ironically, there was a great gift for me in becoming completely exhausted on the ride (from back and knee pain, lots of fear for the riders who fell and injured themselves, the hassles of camping in the rain, and my newly discovered allergies to Southern California pollen). I was wiped out, in body and mind, shaken and stripped down to the foundations, like a house trembling in a 6.0 earthquake. I was broken down, near the bottom of Maslow’s needs hierarchy. At times, I was focused largely on my own safety and security and my need for help. In the midst of this experience, however, I discovered the most amazing and beautiful thing…At various times, so was almost everyone else!

Somehow, something changed within me, and I believe in others too. Perceptions began to change. We started seeing ourselves and each other less through the predefined categories like age, job, gender, sexual orientation, race, HIV status, and more though qualities like kindness, trust worthiness, compassion, fairness, humor, competence, joy.

Many people on the ride, whether they were self-described religious or not, began to wonder what the world would be like if we all cared for one another and for those in need, the way the ride community does … if we were genuinely and continually dedicated to a better world. The kingdom of heaven, right here on earth.

Filed under AIDS Rides | permalink | June 19, 2009 at 01:20 PM


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