Be Merciful!

Be Merciful!

James 5:7-12

Last night there was a Face Book post from a homeless man. He described going to bed folded in a blanket, afraid of being beaten up, cold all night long, getting up with no idea how he would find food. He had “go fund me” app. He is a man who once worked in a  factory that laid off its workers and has been unable to find a job several years ago. The responses were a mixture of condemnation and  of telling him to keep his chin up. No much money on the app from his 1000 “friends”. Some nice words though (sarcastic).

Yesterday morning I  received call from a young man, who is in a private  school. He is a graduating senior. He was crying. The night before he was at party and got smashed (and I do not mean having sex), and found himself on the street in a suburb whose police chase dogs most of the time. He was picked up, taken in, parents called. Friends took tons of social media photos and posted them. The school will be taking action against him. We took a walk and talked, and he started crying, and I put my arm around him, as he talked of being betrayed, and of how stupid he was. He talked of how he felt betrayed by his friends and of how the social media had gone wild among the adults. I called his best friend and asked him why he posted the photos, and he laughingly said, “We are having fun, we all do that?” I responded: “How would you like me to post the photo  I received of you jumping off the pier in Santa Cruz drunk on your ass last month, maybe I can have some fun posting with a comment.”  I scared him to death. To him it was just posting, no thought of the ramifications. No thought of the pain he caused his friend. No sense of compassion in the moment, and he really felt sad, but social media, texting, email, take away the personal, we can not see the pain we cause. It is when you see the person that your heart is moved and compassion springs forth. We have become an age of distance from people.

I am depressed over both instances. I see people on the street starving, I see people who have everything being destructive towards others without caring, or even giving a damn. I sit with people over dinner who talk in theory about what the government and churches should do, no thought to feeding the person outside their door. And they are the most lonely people in the world.

People have asked me if I ever wanted to have children and my response is “No”, to live in a world that is deteriorating, dying, no. Pure and simple. I have had young friends tell me over and over their generation maybe the last to enjoy the best of what we have, and from what I see happening that is true.

The question that comes to my mind: Is are we just animals who have evolved, and basically are still uncaring primates?

or is their a possibility we can evolve into living out the words of the most evolved person in history, Jesus, who said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is the question.

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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