Into the Maze

Into the Maze

In Dante’s “Infernal” he talked of different places in hell, and frankly I do not know where I am, but I am in a maze, and in hell.  Whether I find my way out of this maze is in question, if I do my life will be given more fully in service. Today I received an email (how personal), from a former long time friend, who was my best friend, and donor. She named all of my “sins”–too generous, treat youth as equals, do not adhere to the boundaries, and make people feel uncomfortable,among so many more, they are unlimited, and I replied, “Remember there are four fingers pointing at you, as well, and when you want to become a donor or friend again than I will listen, so after over a year, please leave me alone, and if you want to vent your anger than face me in person.

What I believe brought this lovely email to my attention was the fact someone saw me at a barbecue at China State Beach yesterday, a barbecue of ten young adults, who go to  school in Marin. Well I was there, and it was a good time, talking, hanging out, and no judgment. They are my friends, and I hang out with them. My best friends are younger than me–I do not see their age, they walked through hell with me these past months, and I will go to hell and back for them–they were there. They are my friends period. And frankly these  two people I trust completely, I trust them more than I have ever trusted anyone.

My therapist is an awesome guy, but the reality is I am not sure I am going to see him much longer, because I frankly put on a show, because when I get honest, he gets scared. One of the reasons psychiatrists refer teenagers to me is I am not afraid, but will sit with them, and listen without worrying about my reputation, I treat them as equals. You have to let go of your own fears and let people enter your life. You have be willing to risk your own life, to serve.  I see my life as a piece of wood that is scarred, and as my life is cut into those scars are shaped into beauty in God’s eyes.  The wood becomes a beautiful piece of art.

A friend gave me a quote as a fifteen year old, which I had forgotten about until this week, and it has kept coming back to me: “There is no valor in compromise,” and I will not compromise on my faith in a God who is all inclusive, and who accepts everyone for who they are, and calls each of us to do the same, giving of our own wealth until everyone is housed, fed, clothed, visited, and accepted. We must all of us give until that suffering ends. I will not compromise on my absolute vow of confidentiality. I will not compromise on my friendship with street people, I accept them as equals. I will not compromise in my belief that it does not matter if you believe in God or not, but it is in the way you treat others. Frankly I have maybe three Christian friends these days.

We live in our tribes, and I have no tribe. So frankly I am angry, angry at people writing emails and face book telling me how to live my life, when you do not know me, and you sit in judgment. I am angry when people put me in a black and white mode, and than when I do not fit in sit in judgment-I will never fit in, I am different, and it is that difference that for the past years has made me who I am and has walked with people no one wants to walk with. And I am done apologizing, period. So whether or not I live or die, which is up in the air, I will always accept you for who you are, but if you choose to sit in judgment-than do not approach me. I will tell you to go to hell. I am done. There are no black and white answers–period.

I walk in a maze, of hell, and whether or not I make it through what I know is that I will walk into the hands of the God who has loved me since my mother’s womb, called me to ministry, walked with me through ordination, rejection and called me to service, and will not be judged. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sim, D.Min.

P.O. Box 6426546

San Francisco, CA 94164

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