Walking Into Joy and Tenderness!

Walking Into Joy and Tenderness!

in the new light of

each day’s questions,

I am never prepared.

Today again I have nothing,

to offer but a handful

of old prayers worn down

by the relentless abrasion

of doubt, and a fragment

of dream that plays on in my head

only half-remembered. Still,

the doves coo and circle

through the pines

as they do when I pass

each morning. Their sorrow

is so nearly human, it rings

sweet with regret. By dusk,

the trees will bow down, and I too, will

make my appeal, will find

again your mercy,

your solace.

(Elizabeth Drescher)

A student participated in outreach with me Thursday night and talked of studies he had read on how to end homelessness. Looking around to see tents, and people on the street now for nearly twenty-seven years, I listened, and we walked on.

in the new light of

each day’s questions,

I am never prepared.

Today again I have nothing,

to offer but a handful

of old prayers worn down

by the relentless abrasion

of doubt, and a fragment

of dream that plays on in my head

only half-remembered. Still,

the doves coo and circle

through the pines

as they do when I pass

each morning. Their sorrow

is so nearly human, it rings

sweet with regret. By dusk,

the trees will bow down, and I too, will

make my appeal, will find

again your mercy,

your solace.

(Elizabeth Drescher)

Friday afternoon in the Haight there was a stabbing, and as I held the young man in my arms while waiting for an ambulance, my arms and clothes were bloodied. A nurse walked out of the examining room and guided me to a shower,  gave me some scrubs, and told me to shower, handing me disinfectant soap, for the young man had monkeypox.

in the new light of

each day’s questions,

I am never prepared.

Today again I have nothing,

to offer but a handful

of old prayers worn down

by the relentless abrasion

of doubt, and a fragment

of dream that plays on in my head

only half-remembered. Still,

the doves coo and circle

through the pines

as they do when I pass

each morning. Their sorrow

is so nearly human, it rings

sweet with regret. By dusk,

the trees will bow down, and I too, will

make my appeal, will find

again your mercy,

your solace.

(Elizabeth Drescher)

In the last four years, as I have struggled through the injury of a shoulder, my hip, a stabbing, and the coronavirus, I have learned to let go, and find joy in all situations.  To begin to enter the mystery of life.

Entering the mystery we are no longer afraid of pain, but embrace it, and in doing so become tender with others. Tenderness is revealed in the understanding of presence within the midst of annoyance, and to see every person as simply our brothers and sisters.

Tenderness is letting people enter into our hearts, being vulnerable, knowing full well we will be broken, but like the Velveteen Rabbit was told, “Now you shall be Real to everyone.” Tenderness is enduring love that sustains anything, offering no judgment, simply care. Tenderness is letting go of the false god of success and finding joy in serving others.

Tenderness is knowing Paradise is not a particular place, but a participation in the here and now for Jesus is the Resurrection in our midst.  Tenderness is not about saving people but redefining lives into one another. Simply loving people.

Choosing joy leads us into a life of transformation, into a life of service in tenderness. Letting go of the fear of death, and living in the moment, allows us to choose joy.

Find joy in the here and now, find joy in being tender to others! What a gift!

in the new light of

each day’s questions,

I am never prepared.

Today again I have nothing,

to offer but a handful

of old prayers worn down

by the relentless abrasion

of doubt, and a fragment

of dream that plays on in my head

only half-remembered. Still,

the doves coo and circle

through the pines

as they do when I pass

each morning. Their sorrow

is so nearly human, it rings

sweet with regret. By dusk,

the trees will bow down, and I too, will

make my appeal, will find

again your mercy,

your solace.

(Elizabeth Drescher)

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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