An Outsider

An Outsider

I was told when I first came here so many years ago, that doing this alone I would not last. Well I have lasted, for you see what people never, never, never understand is what I do is being a pastor to people. It is not a community of people doing activism and serving food, but being a pastor, which means you walk alone in that role. I have been criticized, and made fun of, and it has been painful. But that is what this is about to be a pastor.

I am an outsider, one who walks a different path, one who lives outside the cultural bounds–who expects all of us to be family, who expects each of us to stand with one another, and to take care of one another outside of our tribes, and who calls into question the materialism that is destroying society.

I have had recent threats on my life, and people say, “You just feed people,”  well even feeding people can be dangerous in this society that says “fu..k you to the homeless; but I do more than that, I walk with them as a friend, advocate for them, and I work  against johns, child traffickers, among the many who terrorize and destroy people; I am called all sorts of names, to the point even when my friends kid me I cry.

I am at the point now where I feel I really have no friends; and most people expect so much from me, so much,  and it is painful. These past months have been painful with illness, and people just walking away. I have had basically two 18 year old’s stand by me, and I have never understood why, I fight with them, push them away.

I believe in the Jesus, who walked Galilee, and was crucified for doing justice, but the resurrection, is a myth, that offers hope, and is used to justify enslaving people by promising a “future life,” without responsibility for this life. The resurrection is the hope that Christ can bring new life here on earth, and the rest is on faith.

After this Good Friday Service, frankly, I am done, and what that means, I have no idea. I am tired of the fight, tired of the struggle, and always having to explain myself. I say loud and clear I have done my best, but as I am told, I am a “fu..k up” repeatedly, so be it.

But what I offer is for each of us to look at ourselves and asked the question–How do I  care for people, and by caring I mean walking with them in person, suffering with them, and getting outside of my tribes?

The world is falling to pieces, people are suffering on the streets, and all around the world–what are you going to do? I may be  done, but are not?

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

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