Journey on the Edge

A Journey on the Edge: Crafting A Piece of Art

St. Gregory the Great

    A cousin asked me “when are you going to retire,” a colleague  said to me, “You piss people off,” and an email from a stranger listed my sins, some of them rather funny, and the one’s she imagined would be a lot of fun, the truth is I am rather boring.

    On day in the ancient days my District Superintendent commissioned a lay preacher in a ceremony, at my church,  and he said, “Your ministry is far different than River’s, you are a lay minister, but River works his craft, in shaping the wood of his ministry, it is his life, that is embraced by his call.”

    That has stuck with me, and reminds me that each day, I am carving  ministry into a piece of art. It is rough at times  in my mistakes, but in carving, sanding beauty comes forth. I have shaped and sanded it through seminary, two doctorates, and in my daily life.

    One of the most beautiful parts of this piece of wood, is learning human beings are sacred in God’s eyes, “Do you not know that your are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?.. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (I Corinthians 3:16-17”.

    Each person has God dwelling in them, they may not know it, and their actions may not show it, but God dwells in them.

    And in walking, letting people enter my life I become tattered. I make no judgments but offer them the way of loving others.

    To many I am a “leper” to many because of the way I enter into the darkness, letting people in my life. They assume so much, when there is nothing to assume. But I see Christ’s face, summoning to Galilee, and I walk forward, no matter how tattered.

    G.E.Chesterton gives a good summary of ministry:

“Nothing taken for granted; Everything received with gratitude; Everything passed on with grace.”


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, California 94164


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