Who Are You?

Who Are You?

John 1:19-28

Early New Years’ morning I tripped in a drive way and chipped my arm and the lower part of my side is bruised; last week my car was damaged in an accident; what I remember about New Years’ Eve it  was the most awesome time I had  with my two best friends, and with the accident it was a great night with four of my friends–if one of them had been hurt it would have torn me a part; you see sh..t happens, material items are unimportant, accidents happen, that is life, but what is important are the people. Items can be replaced. Items are nothing. People are everything.

I have two items that mean the world to me–a cross with a stone in its center, given to me by a young homeless guy in the Haight who had the opportunity to sell it for a hundred dollars and saw me and said, “I want River to have it because he loves us,” and a bracelet given to me by a friends mom.  For as I looked at it I saw a beautiful piece of jewelry and than I realized it was a gift from a lady who has struggled with me, and I  thought, “she likes me”, and that meant more to me than anything. Those are the two items that mean the most to me. What matters is the people in our lives. It is easy to understand accidents they are black and white. But an illness that is illusive, not detectable, that is a different story.

These past months I have been struggling with a fever, weigh loss, and getting weaker. I have been afraid, scared to death. I am so unsure of myself, I question, I doubt, and I keep on going. I have felt judgement from all circles–and people giving one opinion after another. Face book is horrible.  I broke down and cried in front of my physician the other day and she said: “F….k them, you are sick, you are recovering, but it is going to take time, just take it easy, and remember who your friends are,  you have found that out in this time, in a few months you will be back to yourself.”

Throughout this time people have commented, “You never judge me,” over and over, and I realize that is my greatest gift, and it comes from being judged through the years, it is a gift that is priceless, but it has come with a price, a great price, and I would not trade it for anything.

More importantly I imagine Jesus coming  to me in the middle of the night in so many ways as I have sweated off my fevers, and his smile is that of saying “I love you,” and that is all that matters, and there is no judgment.

And the words of Abraham Lincoln come to me from his first inauguration:

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it we must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory–will yet swell the chorus of the union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels our nature.”

Those words are a reminder of what we can be. Let the “better angels of our nature” guide us as friends of all.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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


Temenos Catholic Worker


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