What Shall We Wear?

What Shall We Wear?

Matthew 22:1-14

“Therefore go to the roads on the edge of town and invite everyone you find to the wedding party. Then those servants went to the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding party of full of guests?

The Gospel calls us to proclaim that God’s door is always open and all are welcome regardless of who they are. We are not to judge, but to carry the message of inclusive love to the streets.

My friend Kevin, in the photo, is a senior in high school in Marin. Yesterday we worked our  booth at “Our Town” in SF”, in the Castro. This photo says it all to me, it tells me of a person who is open, and caring, of everyone. On the surface,  he is a foot ball player, a swimmer, a typical Marin teen, but beneath that image is one who cares for people.

The same with my friend Matt, who goes to the same high school.  I have told Matthew that I feel “safe” around him, and he loves joking with me about it.. It has nothing to do with physical danger, that scares me none, I am threatened all the time, I have had people try to kill me and so that is nothing–it is in my face, it is of  not feeling safe emotionally,  being judged, and not able to be  myself, that scares me.To Matt I am just his friend.  I am simply River. That is the greatest gift we can give one another, that is a gift we can not give by staying on the computer or by not taking time to listen. I have been fighting depression for weeks– two deaths on the street, working with an older woman in a facility without family, young guys desperate, in pain and other reasons, and Matt has simply been their, accepting me for me. He heard me pray for a couple on the phone, and he joked, “Oh  you are a priest, now?” He does not care what I am,  he sees me for me. And yesterday I saw that in Kevin. They treat each person for who they are.

Yesterday I was buying some food for a homeless young person at the Walgreen’s in the Castro, and the store personal asked him to leave with the words: “We do not want a dirty homeless person in here,” and there were no homeless people around our event. If Kevin had not been with me I would have felt uncomfortable.

Our boundaries of race, age, religion, you name it, separates us from human beings.  I refuse, absolutely, refuse to seek to convert a person to my religious belief or way of life. My friend Jesus calls us to love one another, and in so doing to love God as we see or do not see God, and that love means to give of all that we have, and of ourselves until all are fed, clothed, and housed. In our giving to the other our hearts are changed, and thus our lives.You see judgment, and trying to impose our beliefs on another are simply ways of keeping us separated from the other, rather than involvement.

When I was twenty-two, the year I was ordained, I was driving home from an event with my  younger brother. It was on a country road, dark  wet, and we had a accident, he was killed.  My life was changed forever, a therapist I was seeing told me: “You are at a cross roads, you can  choose to take the road of becoming an old, set in his ways   minister, or you can ride motorcycles–using this experience to move free, to be yourself, and to see life in all of its reality of pain, suffering and joy. You can leave the boundaries, be free, and serve. Your choice, life or death.”

I chose to “ride the motorcycle” and that ride has brought me to the realization that to sit in judgment, to stay within our many tribes that bind us destroys us, and life. But to open our lives to each other and walk with each other as brother and sister, giving to each other of what we have–=is life giving. Life is difficult, but once you accept that it is damn well worth the journey.

Don’t ask what you can wear–but how you can care! Embrace life!

Creator Spiritus! Come Creator Spirit!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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