A twenty year old once commented to me, “You must have f. . .ck up a lot  when you were young, to do all this for us.”

In some ways he was right. Sin is missing the mark of loving our neighbor, and when I was a young pastor a young man approached me and said, “I think there is something wrong with me, I like guys.”  I was in the closet, I was in a church which teaches, that “homosexuality is intrinsically evil,” and so I froze, and told him “Come back later, I am busy.”  He shot himself two hours later. That began my own coming out, and it knocked me so far into depression that I too attempted suicide.

I learned from that experience that the broken body of Christ is in each one of us, and by only putting people first do we meet Christ. When I am unable to put the other person first, I go away, turn my phone off;  Others must always be first. We take care of ourselves–and than  take care of others. For in the other–is the Christ!

I have learned that Christ comes to each of us in the rainbow of colors–of  nationalities and  religions, with differing  thoughts and theologies,  that are far different from our own.  We evolve like a fish out of water when when we encounter each person with an open heart. We are in a constant process of evolution.

Yesterday we had a luncheon in honor of my doctorate, and I was touched at the people present–different colors, different backgrounds, the extremely rich, the extremely poor–the rainbow of people I love. They hate me, they love me, but all show me respect.

I sit today in gratitude, gratitude for my life.  I sit in gratitude for Jesus, who has opened my eyes to the rainbow of colors around me, and reminds me each day that people are first because in each one of us he dwells–broken, beaten down, and in each we behold  his  face. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


+Fr. Christian River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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