Cooking With the Fallen Ones–Cope


Cooking With the Fallen One’s–Cope

“Don’t Make Me Cry and Ashamed To Eat My Meals!”

Cope is a young man who has traveled over the United States. He has fished in Alaska, he has protested the cutting of trees in the North west; he has been jailed for his political activity, and for activity not so political. He is from a broken home, and he is a traveler, who is traveling  through out the country, but his inner travels are one’s dealing with abuse, and violence, and abandonment.  Cope was thrilled with the one hot meal he received from us this week, but he was even more thrilled with the hot shower he was able to take in the bus that moves around the City–the first shower in a month, the first change of clothes in a month.

I shudder when I think  of wearing the same clothes for a month, and god for bid the same pair of boxers,  and not taking a shower–if I do not shower twice a day I have the “willies”.  I shudder as I imagine Cope  having only one hot meal in a week, as he moved around the Haight with all those beautiful restaurants, smelling all that delicious food unable to even have a taste, and seeing people come out happy and filled. Put yourself in his situation, and imagine the feelings, the pain.

As I do outreach there are tents up every where, people have no where to live, they struggle for food, they struggle for survival.  People move along Polk, the Haight, and all the streets, and simply do not see the tents, and the people. They are dead to a large part of our world and the people suffering.

A recent response on Facebook to me was:

“Don’t make me cry and ashamed to eat my meals,” and the truth is that is the goal of every thing that I do.

For each day I am ashamed to eat my meals, to go to the dentists and get crowns, to go to a movie, to sleep in my nice warm bed, and take my comfortable showers. Each day when I eat at a restaurant I am totally ashamed. I cry a lot, and that is why I do what I do, because of my entitlement and privilege I have so much, and am called to share of what I have.

Damn straight I seek to make people ashamed so that they will see beyond themselves, see the needs of others around them. And move out and feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, visit the sick.   The Gospel calls us to “inflict the comfortable,” and so I seek to do so, and I “inflict” myself each day, as well. This is a joint cause, all of us  need to be “inflicted”.

All of us suffer, each and every one of us, suffer a lot, but when we have housing, food, health care, our suffering eases compared to those who do not. Imagine living in a tent, sleeping on the street sick with the flu, a cold, cancer, and no place to go to the restroom.  And when we reach out I have found my pain, my own suffering, my depression, changes into newness of life. When we make ourselves ‘victims’ we hurt not only ourselves, but others.

The truth of the matter is I never want to shame any one–simply to open up the vista of seeing  the pain around them, and to do something in their own simple way to change that pain into new life.

We can touch people one at a time–don’t be ashamed–feed some one today, and every day; give someone a pair of socks; if you have the room,  a place to live–don’t be ashamed–move out in love, and embrace the fallen one’s with all the love and heart you have. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA  94164





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