Continuing the Struggle

Continuing in the Struggle!

I John 4:20-5:5

    I am suddenly awake at 4:00 a.m., my mouthpiece buried in my teeth, from being crushed through the night–thank God for the protection.  I am awakened by nightmares from which I am told are signs of PTSD, or whatever we moderns want to call our struggles, but personally I prefer to call these struggles the Angel of Death, fluttering around, reminding me of impending death.

    I have seen so much death, and it surrounds my every move these days. Told to go away and take a break I LOL (Laugh out Loud), for I was away for a week in Palm Springs the first of December, and again for three days two weeks ago, experiencing the death and suffering of others never goes away, it simply becomes a part of you, and you live with the pain until it melts away. You are scared but like carving a piece of wood, the scars become beautiful with work.

    I look around and see photos of five generations of youth passing through my life, and now another group moves forward. Time never stands still. My time is passing.

    After three or four hours of sleep each night, I awake with a dry throat, some times raw and I wonder, is this the day I will enter into the nether world of instruments and masked nurses and doctors, rather than being one in the mask, and suffer in pain, and suffocation, dying alone with instruments buzzing around me, being set aside, and than forgotten.

    Last night watching the news of riots, anger, and destruction I wonder has my life been lived in a fictional world. Don Lemon comments: “Superstition is promoting facts that are not proven in the real world.”

    I am presently reading a book, A Riotous History of Uncivil Action: In Defense of Looting, by Vicky Osterweil, which justifies rioting, as a means of protest, and describes it’s history going back to the Revolutionary War as a history of violence, and destruction, justifying looting as a means of getting our rights.

    Violence, and destruction, are contrary to Jesus who walked to his death and transformed the world. So has my life been one of selling fiction? Have I been a peddler of fake goods?

    But looking through the mists of time I see the face of Christ–in David and Ruth, Bill, Jack, E.W., Violet, Keenan, Cynthia, Karen, all the way to the present in the young men and women on the street, and Ruth, Matthew, Aaron, Cale, Brandon, and so many more. .and I know that God is not a distant God, a God to be feared and avoided, a God who is fiction, a God of revenge, but a God who is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle. .God is a compassionate God.. and hear the words of Paul from 2 Corinthians 12: “For this thing, I besought the Lord twice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

The God of Many Faces is in each one of us, crying out for us to love each other, as we struggle through so many ways to find that love, the love that only comes from God.

    I continue the walk hearing the words of Paul from Romans: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creatures, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    This is the promise I live by, and the promise shared so that others might live. Fake or real–no– it is Real! 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

“On the storm-tossed sea of life, all we have is our fierce loyalty to one another.”

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