Doing and Being

Doing and Being

Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

In our lectionary reading Jesus is about doing: “He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.”

His ministry was of doing. He got his hands dirty, he preached the Good News, but he was also about being. Rabbi Heschel tells us that in our age when knowledge is king that we need to be on guard for the “the immense preciousness of being.” Fred Rogers said, “Just be quiet and think, it makes all the difference in the world.”

Taking time to be allows us to comprehend our lives, and our world, and see that we are all in it together. We are so splintered, and our technology brings the good but also the bad. The negative is our lack of communication with one another, our lack of being observant of our part in climate change,and homelessness, and what we can do. We all bare  guilt, we all bare responsibility to make changes.

I am ill with a high fever that comes and goes, my shoulder is in a lot of pain this week, but the blessing is simply to be.

I have been questioned a lot about why I do what I do, and it is simply that  been lead through my own circumstances and experiences.

I was on the street for three years, had to fight each day for a place to sleep, had to endure threats of violence, and some days not eating–even now I eat sometimes too much because I am afraid I want have anything later, when I have plenty;

I have walked with people as they face murder trials and seen them go to prison for life; my son was murdered, and through my own journey came to see the death penalty as wrong, but can understand the other side;

I work with people on death row, and those who may go, seeing them as children of God, who have hope. I simply do not argue the other side of any of these issues, because for me arguing is useless, I know where my responsibility lays.

Now I face threats of violence, in the present housing market, my place of living is insecure, and financially I struggle, sometimes not knowing where the next dollar is going to come from.

All of this is why I work with homeless kids, and people who are on or facing death row simply as children of God, without judgment. That is why I protest the death penalty. I have and still face plenty of judgment–I will not pass it on–that is God’s responsibility.

Today we begin the Guantanamo Bay Fast. “The US attempts to make demons out of the 40 men still detained at Guantanamo, stoking citizen’s fears and then satisfying that fear with lawless brutality against these men. We fast to keep their humanity in front of our own eyes and the eyes of our nation. Let us fast and act together this week in  search for a solidarity that transforms.”

My goal in life is the search for a “solidarity that transforms,” and as I share my journey, I invite each of you to reflect upon your journey, and simply be, and in that being seeing the “solidarity that transforms,” as that which holds each of us together, and brings us into right relations with each person we encounter and nature around us. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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