“To enter Advent we must leave fear for faith.”

Last night as I was walking up Haight sixteen year old Jason approached me, and I simply called him by name, and he simply went off on me. Knocked me down, gave me a bloody nose. I simply held him as he exploded. And I realized what he was screaming about was simply his own displaced anger at life. He felt safe with me, no matter how inappropriately he did it.The police came and wanted to take him in, and I simply said, “It was just two friends having a disagreement, and the woman cop said, “Yea and who got the worst of it, he should go in” and I said, “Then the  both of us go in.” The officer replied, “Next time you two bro’s want to fight go to the Park.”

I brought Jason home. We both got cleaned up and spent the night hanging. And he talked of being kicked out of a shelter, his family do not want him home, his loneliness, his fears, not really having friends he can trust. He cried a lot. I shared to of own my own sense of feeling like he does, my own fears. I told him how last Friday I displaced my anger on the two people I trust and love more than any one else in the world because it simply came out where I felt safe, and how ashamed I am for doing that. I shared with him of the fear I have had around this illness that seems to be passing the past four months. I told him of how losing four of what I thought were my best friends the past four months has shattered me. I feel like I am really a fuck up.  I told him I live in much fear, my faith is shaky, but that I am here for him, always, without judgment, just next time not to hit me in the nose and ruin my shirt. In those moments we were equals in our pain, and friends.

The truth is when we are honest we all have a lot of fear. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I get tons of calls from people from all walks of life, lonely, no where to go, no one to talk to; I have had twenty people call me suicidal this week all times of the day and  night. All of us suffer, it is  when we move beyond the pretend of the Christmas lights to suffering that Jesus entered into that we can walk with each other acknowledging that life is difficult, but that it is worth living.

My faith is very, very, very shaky right now.  I feel at times like I have no rudder, no guidance, and every person that calls me, texts me, or stops by, I think, “what the fuck am I doing listening to them, I have nothing to offer.” But I listen!  It is very shaky. I take it one moment at a time. Jason and I were two friends last night, and we made life easier for one another.

So that is the invitation, share your feelings, and move out from your tribes, and see the difference. Make life easier for yourselves and others.Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.





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