Love After Love



Yesterday was a day of celebration of equality at Pride. When you work with the people  reality of their humanity breaks through.  There is a lot of anger and fear present.

One gentleman who last year talked to me about the neglect of seniors at Pride, and I filed his comments. Nothing was done because the reality is Pride is a celebration, and the reality is that it is geared toward the younger crowd, as are all large parties are.

]The Pride Committee does an excellent job, with what they have. This year he was antagonistic, threatening, made up stories about my volunteers, and called the police on me. It was painful, and in looking at him I saw how he must feel, he does not feel valued, feel worth anything. Yet that is no excuse for abuse, period. When my time comes I hope  I can accept it more graciously (as I always do, sarcastic!)

There was a younger man in his twenties who wanted in our area and I had to have him removed because he was not a senior or disabled. He stared at me for several hours, and than as I was moving through the crowd later, bounced in my face and hit me in the stomach saying, “you  m…f.”

There was a lot of anger in the crowd, and I thought about the Scripture, “Christ died for us while we were yet sinners,” the “sin” I believe he died for was that of our own inhumanity to each other in our biases, prejudices, our hatreds, our need to be number one.

Our salvation is about creating us into human beings who care and love each other, meet each other half way, and share. In the book of Acts we have the early church sharing of their belongings. That is what Jesus is all about.

The poem below shares what I believe the Scripture “Christ died for us when we were yet sinners” is describing. Christ calls us to look at the word “afford,” and what a friend told me early in my professional life: “You can afford to let go,” or “You can afford to give it sometime.” or “You can afford to try that out and see what happens”.

We can let our own judgments go and not be afraid to sit with others, and to see ourselves for who we are, faulty human beings on the same journey, and when we look at ourselves to become comfortable with ourselves and thus become comfortable with everyone. We are teachers of each other. I can afford to hear them, step back, and consider the merit of their judgments, I may even end up thanking them.

Love After Love

“The day will come, the time will come when with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door

and each will smile at each other’s welcome saying sit here, eat you will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine, give bread, give back your heart to yourself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life who you ignored for another who know you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes feel your own image in the mirror, see it.”

Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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