Eating Honey With God!

Eating Honey With God!


The Sheep and the Goats Matthew 25:26-31

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


For it is not knowing much, but realizing and relishing things interiorly, that contents and satisfies the soul,” Sally Longley


    Several nights ago I had a dream, one that has haunted me in many ways, this past week.

    I was standing on the side of a crossroads, and a caravan passed on the other side, and there were I do not know how many young men and women smiling at me from the windows of this caravan. I knew their names, Zach, Sean, Mouse, etc., the young adults whose lives I have touched through the years. And as the caravan passed a voice said to me: “Your work is not done yet, and  know you are loved, now and always.” I call that voice the Angel of Death, passes through my life, hovers over me so often, and reminds me I will die, so do the work.

    I am often asking the question, “Why did you come to Polk Street, why are you an “eccentric”?

    Many of the early mystics and desert fathers and mothers fled to the desert, not as a place of escape, but as a place of confrontation with their own inner demons and of deep encounter with the living God.

    It had been three years since I had left prostitution and was working, being very materialistic, and the demons of lack of purpose and meaning surrounded me. In my years being a prostitute, I had experienced and seen so much evil, and I had done so much to survive. So I came to the “desert of Polk Street”, which was then filled with gay bars and prostitution.

    The God of all exodus movements, who leads us through our wanderings in the desert, also provides manna for us. I found healing in walking with the young men and women in the caravan, and the ones now, I found my call, purpose.

    “We are a people of memory,” writes  Carmelite theologian and author Constance Fitzgerald. She speaks of how dwelling prayerfully in deep silence enables, “a kind of unraveling” of memory to occur in such a way that the memories are not suppressed or obliterated, but instead are “uncoupled from the self. . In a mysterious way, there is a cutting of both past and memory that is inimical to one’s personhood,” God’s spirit helps us by joining wholesome ways of being in relation to our past and creating a bank of new life-giving images and memories that we can savor.

    I have been called an “eccentric” which Chryssavigis remarks: “eccentricity means moving to the center, re-centering world on God.” It is that recentering which Jesus was talking about. His disciples argued about who was to be first, wanting to set up false boundaries of power and care. Jesus calls them to eccentricity.

    “Eccentricity means moving the center, re-centering the world on God.” Cultivating a contemplative life means we need to be counter-cultural and make space for work that only prayerfully silence can do in our lives.

    Eccentricity crosses traditional boundaries, and allows one to call everyone a “friend”. And in so doing seeing our task as giving to all from our own resources, and to love, even when we do not want to love.

    For some being a nurse, brings that silence, that centeredness, or being a bookkeeper, but work that allows one to bring God, and service to others into one’s life.

    I have been told that “you can not do this work alone,” the reality is I am not alone. Those of you who read this have given me support, some for many years, you are my community. You will never know how much each check, each email, a phone call means to me, through them you are Jesus speaking. I treasure those moments. 

     I am an introvert and need much time alone, and my call is one of not marrying, and doing my work. This ministry, “my desert” fits me, we all must find our own deserts.

    And as we encounter God through becoming attentive and beholding in wonder little-known saints, the trees, grasses, riverbeds, and the humblest and most exquisite of creatures, such as  the dragon lizard. As we listen to the wisdom all this strange and magnificent world has for us, we hear the Creator’s voice, and are drawn into relishing a honeyed feast with God. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Sims, D.Min.


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