Matthew 8:28-34 Common English Bible (CEB)

Jesus frees demon-possessed men

28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake in the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed came from among the tombs to meet him. They were so violent that nobody could travel on that road. 29 They cried out, “What are you going to do with us, Son of God? Have you come to torture us before the time of judgment?” 30 Far off in the distance a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons pleaded with him, “If you throw us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 Then he said to the demons, “Go away,” and they came out and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the cliff into the lake and drowned. 33 Those who tended the pigs ran into the city and told everything that had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole city came out and met Jesus. When they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.


There is a sign on the site where the Solitary Monrey lives at the Oakland Zoo,which says: “This Solitary Merkat was ostracized from our green monkey troop. You will often find her staring intensely  past the merkat exhibit at her old troop and sometimes even communicating with them by vocalizations.”

This is the way I have been feeling for months, and now after an incident more so. I have made decisions that people have turned on me because they disagreed, I have been sick and frankly acted out in pain and have apologized, and no response.

The mission of Jesus transcends all boundaries.  He is not afraid to go to the other side–the land of the Gentiles–where the Jews would normally go. 

I have been told I am “radical”, and the fact is I hate labels, I literally hate them.  We use them to fence people in, we use age, race, sexual orientation, and religious grief to fence people in. I able for the most part to cross these boundaries, and in so doing I get labels put on me. 

I am good with people, but there comes a certain point when you pushed me so far I push back.

I have been knocked back lately over stuff I simply do not understand, I simply do not understand, and I am not broken, but I am cracked, and there is so much pain, so much pain.

I am the Solitary Merkat and I wonder how many more are out there.  My commitment to Christ is never in question. With out him I would have been dead a long time ago, but my question for myself is: “How much more can I take? And then what?” That is the question I listen to a thousand times every day of my life–and you know what, I have no answers, all I can do is listen.

Frankly I am asking myself: “What the fu..k?”

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

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