In Service We Encounter God!

IN Service We Encounter God!

“For the grace of God, bringing salvation to all people.(Titus 2:11).

My journey has been one of seeking salvation. I was raised in a conservative environment and taught the only way to heaven was through Jesus, repenting my sins. I experienced baptism as a Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Episcopal through this journey.

I was given books to read on the sins of masturbation, having sex outside marriage, drinking alcohol, smoking pot, and cussing, among other things. These were sins keeping one from God. Therefore, since I could not refrain from sinning, my life was overwhelmed by guilt.

I have been told you have to pray a certain way, like using the Lord’s Prayer in a Eucharist Service or believing in certain ways to be a part of a community.

Through the years of facing death, and horrors on the street, my faith and journey are  summed up in the following quotes: Mark 12:28-34:

“. . .Hear Lord O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. .”

and in the words of Fr. Henri Nouwen:

Radical servanthood does not make sense unless we introduce a new level of understanding and see it as the way to encounter God. To be humble and persecuted cannot be desired unless we can find God in humility and persecution. When we begin to see God, the source of all our comfort and consolation, in the center of servanthood, compassion becomes much more than doing good for unfortunate people. Radical servanthood, as the encounter with the compassionate God, takes us beyond the distinctions between wealth and poverty, success and failure, fortune and bad luck. Radical servanthood is not an enterprise in which we try to surround ourselves with as much misery as possible, but a joyful way of life in which our eyes are opened to the vision of the true God who chose to be revealed in servanthood.
The poor are called blessed not because poverty is good, but because theirs is the kingdom of heaven; the mourners are called blessed not because mourning is good, but because they shall be comforted.

Here we are touching on the profound spiritual truth that service is an expression of the search for God and not just of the desire to bring about individual or social change.”

This has been my journey!

John Milton once said, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” This past year I have done a lot of standing and waiting, and have found God in prayer, and talking to people.

We all can serve in our own way!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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