“Good and bad are like black and white, convenient dichotomies. They are neat and easy ways of stepping around disorder, contradictions, and people and things that just refuse to fit neatly into the mold that our minds create for them. But they are not helpful constructions in coming to terms with the big issues: God, life, death, infinity, faith, justice, and mercy.”

-Br. Robert L’Esperance

    When we respond to the issues of life in the black and white life becomes easier, and it becomes inhumane.

For life is complex. Sexuality is complex. Our sexuality is express in so many wonderful and different ways, and yet we stigmatize, and seek to put the boundary of straight and gay around it. Queers of all sorts–gay/lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning are hounded, persecuted, because they are different. Individuals who are fluid in their gender are seen as “different” and persecuted. Sexuality is complex–it is to be embraced in its rain bow of colors.

Homelessness is complex– but when one follows the words of Dan Berrigan it brings life into context:

” Sometime in your life, hope that you might see one starved man, the look on his face when bread finally arrives. Hope that you might have baked it or bought it or even kneaded it yourself. For that look on his face, for your meeting his eyes across a piece of bread, you might be willing to lose a lot, or suffer a lot, or die a little, even.”

    People ask why I spend hours  cooking  meals, why I sit down in the Park, on the street, in a restaurant, and eat with people–it simplifies life–the complexity of life simply becomes two human beings on the same journey. That “meeting his  eyes” is worth everything–there is no greater “high” than one can find than looking that person in his or her eyes and seeing  the spark of life which the food gives.  And the one great lesson we learn together is when  we love God, and our neighbor–in those moments in particular each other–all will be well. Jesus summarized the Commandments in these words:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

    Simple, but yet calls us to embrace all of life in its complexity.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min. candidate, D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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