Letting Go! And Letting Christ!


“Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.” In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. . .John 14:1-10

Today I remember Zach, my kid, who was murdered in 2001 on this date, but in remembering him I remember the thousands of deaths I have mourned through the years, and the thousands of memorial services I have conducted.  Each death I mourned, I grieved, and in each service I shared of the resurrection.  Death is not easy, death is not beautiful, death is horrifying–only in the face of the resurrection we have hope.   When I mention Zach’s death, or the loss of someone else, people say, “I am sorry”, in a low tone of voice.  In other words–let us not  talk about it.
Death is a reality–that is all around us–if our hearts are open as we read the news  they should be breaking at the countless deaths resulting from war and starvation around the world. There are days I struggle with how we as humans are so blood thirsty and selfish, and it is in our  DNA, and than I look at the cross and see the face of Christ. This is the struggle of humanity, and Christ will have the last word. That is the hope that keeps me going.
The Angel of Death moves around me in the night. In my mind I see her, for it is the fears, and the doubts, that confront me about my mortality.  I slept little last night after a long day of listening to young men and women who live in the shadow of death on the street, and I feel my own mortality. I slept little thinking of Zach being stabbed, and dying in an abandoned building, I slept little thinking of the eighty five year old  lady who is being evicted and no where to go. And my buddy the Angel of Death sits down on my bed and we chat.
As the good Angel and I chat, I am letting go, and letting Christ.  More and more, I am simply letting go.
Letting go of my fears of death, my fears of dying alone. I will probably die  a violent death on the streets, or in a hospital, my room, or a hotel –alone.  My ministry is my call from God, and  I chose to enter into that call.  I have entered into that choice with my whole heart. It is a call in which I have chosen singleness,  in order to  “embrace the thousands,” as an old boss of mine told me I had the choice to do. But I will not be alone–Christ is always there–in season and out of season, he is present, and I feel his presence, and his love. He embraced me last night in love. I had night sweats for hours, and I was not alone.
I am letting go of the past, and the future, and living in the moment. The moment is all we have. Each day I spend hours simply listening to others, and it is the moment that matters. 
On this anniversary of Zach’s death the words of 
Carlo Carretto ring true to me:

God is thrust onward by his love, not attracted by our beauty. He comes even in moments when we have done everything wrong, when we have done nothing . . . even when we have sinned.
– Carlo Carretto, The God Who Comes 
(God comes . . . NOW! What is your response?)


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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