Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Peniel–February, 2020

January 25, 2020


February, 2020

“Where Jacob wrestled with God.”

Temenos Catholic Worker

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Journal of An Alien Street Priest:

    As we prepare to enter Lent we are living in a time of much fear.  Fear draws us to the center we have created, the ego self. Divine Love expands from our real center, our true self.

    The true self is a rainbow of colors and expands so that we can experience our whole being, and allows us to feel the pain of others, so that we can reach  out and help without discrimination due to their pain.

    Meister Eckhart suggests the best means to enter into our true selves, is to Relax into God, “to sink down out of something into nothing.” In “relaxing into God,” we let go of our false concepts of race, creed, color, economic status, and religion, and see people as beloved of God.

    To see people as beloved of God changes our attitude, we move into seeing them simply as human beings on the same journey needing  support as we need support. Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker shared how he would go out on the streets of New York to mingle with the workers and the unemployed, hoping through his  presence to share God’s love with each one by what he called “practicing the art of human contact.”

    During this Lenten time one suggestion is simply to accept yourself just as you are, where you are. Be observant of your feelings of lust, fear, over eating, anger,  being shy and withdrawing from people, notice them, sit with your feelings , and after each observation without emotional reactions, let them go, move to the center of Christ, where divine love is found, give time or money to someone: a homeless person, your child, spouse, or friend, and in that present moment of giving we can find happiness, for we begin to see others as the Christ and in the words of Jean Vanier, “We are not called by God to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary love.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!



February 26, 2020

    In the last couple of months we have been reminded daily of our mortality. Wild fires in Australia, the military action in Iran, and the deaths of people on the street. Social media brings death home to us each moment of the day. We can become immune to its presence or we can think of our own deaths.

    Life is fragile, it is short. On Ash Wednesday as the ashes are placed on our heads and we hear the words, “Remember O man you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” let us remember our humanity and pray the prayer:

    “God of the desert, as we follow Jesus into the unknown,

may we recognize the tempter when he comes;

let it be your bread we eat,

your world we serve and you alone we worship.”

Join us at 5:30 p.m. in front of “Bob’s Donuts as we walk and talk to people in our door ways, on the street, and the alleys, and impose the ashes at their request. Come join us and see our mortality in a more graphic light, and in doing so “Remember O man, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”



    Recently fundraiser evaluated our ministry, and scratched her head–she said, very politely, “Frankly I do not know how you raise money, you do not show results.”

    Our ministry is to “Preach the Word, using as few as words as possible,” and administer the Sacraments! We provide food, socks, and a sacramental presence to street youth, and any one with whom we come into contact with.

    So with that in mind, we invite you to share of your financial resources with Temenos Catholic Worker. We are a 501 c 3 religious non-profit.!

     You may give through snail mail or through pay pal found on


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Storm Tossed Existence

January 21, 2020


“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

    Several years ago my friend Matthew and I were in Puerto Valera, Mexico. We were coming home, but because of a mix up had to book him on an earlier flight. We had had a brutal fight the night before, and was glad to be separated. I dropped him off, but became afraid as I found I did not know where the car was to go, could not read the signs. Matthew sensed my fear, and walked off his plane and called, , “We may fight and hate each other sometimes, but when we know the other is in trouble we stay.” He stayed. That is what real friends do, in season, and out of season, they stay.

    E. K. Chesterton wrote: “We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”  Matthew demonstrated his “terrible loyalty” to me on that “storm tossed sea” of fear, and uncertainty.

    Through the years depression and I have become good friends, in fact we are bosom buddies, and from walking with her have learned two things:

    Number One is to approach “throne of grace with mercy so that we may receive grace and secondly in this world we all live on a “storm tossed sea,” and we need to give each other a “terrible loyalty.”

    Depression is on the rise, and stems from loneliness, and fear of being abandoned to die, and to suffer alone. Walk with me on the streets, and we encounter depression covered by illegal drugs, see the faces of people sleeping in the  nooks and corners, begging for food; walk with me in hanging out with teens and feel their loneliness from lack of being talked to, lack of love, and push for material success; come with me into our senior citizen centers and we find people pushed a side and ignored.

    Brother James Koester  speaks of the false values of our culture, and calls each one of us “to a terrible loyalty”:

“The values of the world are killing us. They are poisoning the creation around us. Maybe it’s time to take seriously the invitation of the gospel, and discover the fruitfulness of humility, service, and sacrificial love. Because in Jesus we see that it is those things, not power, strength, and riches, that lead ultimately to life and to life eternal.”


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



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The Living Saga

January 19, 2020

The Living Saga

I Corinthians 1:8-9

    The past two weeks we have been off all social media, our primary phone has been turned off. We needed a break, absolutely worn out. Two memorial services, and the stress of Christmas has been exhausting. Simply watching T.V. and eating good meals, and being alone has been glorious. No demands, no requests, oh how glorious! People in their infinite words of wisdom often point out their view of us   “burning out”, etc, and the reality is we get tired, from giving of myself all the time, and so I take time to myself. Couch psychologists are ignored. Ministry is what empowers our life.

    The truth is I love ministry. The Reverend Jeff Daniels, the Civil Rights Martyr once described his experience on the front lines:

“The whole saga of God’s love affair with us,” he said, “which had been an interesting story to me before, came alive one night in Selma when I was tutoring a little girl in reading. Suddenly she put two syllables together and read a word out loud. She jumped up and ran to her father who was in the next room.
‘Daddy,’ she shouted, ‘listen to me; I can read!’
“Her father listened, praised her, then came into the room where I was. He was crying.
‘Jon,’ he said, ‘I couldn’t much see the point of what you’re doing down here until just now. But I’m going with you to the Court House tomorrow to register to vote.'”

The saga of God’s love comes alive in each person time is spent with– in the cold of the night, at the mall, their home; it comes alive in each pair of socks and portion of food given.

    We live in a broken world,  each person who is hurt, feels alone, separated from family, hungry, homeless, cast aside, is the face of the Christ. And when we bring a smile, give a moment of comfort, and bring hope, one sees the face of God. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

A River Runs Through It!

January 19, 2020

A River Runs Through It!

Genesis 32:22-32

“Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.”


    Recently a friend asked, “What does the phrase “A river runs through it” mean? The river is symbolic of our lives, running through nooks and crannies, shallow and deep places, ultimately flowing into the Ocean of God.  It is never straight, never pure, and always wrestling with the forces of nature and man to get through.

    Malcolm X once said of life,

“People are always speculating what I am as I am? To understand. .any person, his whole life, from birth must be reviewed.  All our experiences fuse into our personalities. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient”. .”

    Father Henri Nouwen expands this thought:

“It is very difficult for each of us to believe in Christ’s words, “I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners. . . .” Perhaps no psychologist has stressed the need of self-acceptance as the way to self-realization so much as Carl Jung. For Jung, self-realization meant the integration of the shadow. It is the growing ability to allow the dark side of our personality to enter into our awareness and thus prevent a one-sided life in which only that which is presentable to the outside world is considered as a real part of ourselves. To come to an inner unity, totality and wholeness, every part of our self should be accepted and integrated. Christ represents the light in us. But Christ was crucified between two murderers and we cannot deny them, and certainly not the murderers who live in us.”

    We can not hide our different faces, none of us are perfect. My own life has wandered through so many dark places, as well as places of light; It is lived in so many gray areas; people operating out of their own journey try to shame, without listening or understanding, and there has been times shame has been felt.

    Jacob walked with a limp, he wrestled with God, and the limp is a reminder that God is well aware of our  sins, but gives us  a new chance.

    Two things have been learned:

    First we can easily do violence to ourselves and other people when we’re so concerned about not feeling shame. Shame is being sorry for your wrongs, it allows us to look at them, and  in Christ we move beyond shame, we walk with a limp, but we walk in the knowledge that we are trying.

    Second it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Our mistakes do damage to our lives and the lives of others, but the cross of Christ reminds us that on this journey of life that is part and partial of the journey. None of us flow into the ocean not bruised, pure, and whole, but with scars and wounds. The one thing I have learned to say to people as we flow together on the river of life is “We are in this together, I want judge you, but will give you love, and companionship on the journey.”

    On this journey the Psalmist reminds us:

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

you hold my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

The Road Less Travled

January 16, 2020

The Road Less Traveled!

    Last Wednesday when I left a friend’s house I realized how exhausted and tired I had become. My bro had become  angry when he heard me talking to his dad, and said, “you are talking shit,” and I realized I had no idea of what I said, I was simply talking, and I could not believe  anything  negative was said. In fact he is the last person I would want to hurt. The exhaustion hit  in those moments.     Suddenly I saw the two memorial services ahead of me, and the draining of physical and psychological energy being experienced.  Friends of the two who died had been calling, texting, and grieving for over a week.  I listened, and comforted.  It drained me simply giving, and giving.        Monday afternoon after two days of services, I turned my main phone off, and simply fell into bed. The unfairness of life, the lack of care among people made me simply want to hide, and say to hell with everything.

    But the past few days a still small voice could be heard reminding me  of the call to which was given to me in the words of Robert Frost:

” I will be telling this with as sigh

Some where ages and ages hence

Two roads diverged in a wood and I —

I took the one less traveled by

and that has made all the difference.”

    I still have a few miles to go, and the words from Deuteronomy 20:4 speak: “For the Lord your God is going with you to fight for you..”  so whenever the end comes, I know I am never alone.  and the road “less traveled has made all the difference.  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164



Embracing Your Trueself

January 15, 2020

Embracing My True Self!

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to life long slavery.” Hebrews 2:14-15

    The greatest, the most extensive expression of God’s love for each one of us human beings, and for all of his creation was his  where  incarnation-God became human in Jesus. God entered into the world, and experienced the world in all of its grittiness, painfulness, and pain as we do.

    From the moment I step out of my door and hang with my friends of any age, and with each person I encounter–Gary in his sleeping bag, worn from the cold, a young man and woman stretched out in a blanket in front of a closed hardware store, I feel the words of the Thomas Merton in my very bones:

“I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all of those  people, that they were mine and I theirs. that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking form a dream of separateness.”

     I  am wounded often, and I wound people as well without meaning to wound and it hurts, I become depressed, exhausted, and simply want to run, but the reality is there is no running. My salvation is being worked out in entering into relationships, the messiness of life, and there is no separateness.

    Father Henri Nouwen describes our struggle:

“The secular or false self is the self that is fabricated, as Thomas Merton says, by social compulsions. “Compulsive” is indeed the best adjective for the false self. It points to the need for ongoing and increasing affirmation. Who am I? I am the one who is liked, praised, admired, disliked, hated, or despised. . . . If being busy is a good thing, then I must be busy. If having money is a sign of real freedom, then I must claim my money. If knowing many people proves my importance, I will have to make the necessary contacts. The compulsion manifests itself in the lurking fear of failing and the steady urge to prevent this by gathering more of the same—more work, more money, more friends.

These very compulsions are at the basis of the two main enemies of the spiritual life: anger and greed. They are the inner side of the secular life, the sour fruits of our worldly dependencies.”

    I wear myself down to the point of exhaustion from my fear of failure with friends, both housed and not housed, my fear of not having enough money, energy, or good health, which leads to social compulsions that are destructive to myself and others. The past week the phone has been off, and I have simply stayed away from people. I will soon enter again following the One who calls us into relationship in all of their messiness into Galilee.

    We all struggle. We are all human beings who fail, but there is One who leads  the way and calls us to continue to try:

“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to life long slavery.” Hebrews 2:14-15


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

P. O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

Conformity and Call

January 13, 2020

Conformity and Call

John 1:1-18; Mark 1:14-20

    There are two prayers that reflect  my journey: the first is an Ignatian prayer: “the grace to want what God wants,” and the second is one used by  Flannery O Connor to describe a gentleman, “who wanted so much to be called that he ended up calling himself.” We can not force grace.

    It takes time to separate the strands of conformity, and the call to see where God’s persistent voice is leading us, and to understand that conformity, being popular does not always go along with the call.

    My own journey has been one of my struggle   to conform my call to the expectations of others, thus forcing the call, and not letting God lead. It has lead me through my early years in the parish, to being a whore in Los Angles, and to street ministry. It is a continuous struggle with desperately wanting to conform, be liked, loved, a part of the team, or following where Jesus leads.

    We know we will never be a part of the “team”, we always live “outside the gate;” and that we will often times stand in the center of the storm holding up the Gospel in order that the message transcend to new ways of being heard. Our world is not black and white.

    Our world is pro-life–one in which we oppose all war; believe that all are entitled to health care, a decent place to live, and food; we believe that we all should share of what we have in order that all might have; we believe that the environment and climate change are our top priorities–we must sacrifice in order for all of creation to be taken care of; on this anniversary of Roe versus Wade we believe that each woman should have a choice, each being gifted by God with the freedom of choice, should be allowed to make that choice; we believe the drug laws are archaic and the war on drugs should be ended and the money used for treatment and rehabilitation. Harm Reduction is a health practice that views working with people where they are, letting them make their choices, and offering them other options–this is what the Bible describes as God working with humanity–we are given freedom of choice. We live in the grey areas of life.

    In Laudato Si, Pope Francis addresses the importance of concern for all vulnerable beings however, “different, “troublesome”, or “inconvenient” they may be. The measure of being pro-life is what we do each day to respect the dignity of each human being we encounter. The measure of being pro-life is what we do each day to systematically and tirelessly oppose anything that will destroy or diminish the life of any person.

    Each person is created in the Creator’s image and how we treat them is how we treat God.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

Standing in the Gaze of Love

January 12, 2020


“The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders. .The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.”

    Yesterday I sat robed in a alb, and stole, waiting to begin a memorial service, reflecting on  Jim’s urn, sitting before me, and  in reflection within my bones was the deep realization that soon, my body will be ashes placed in my spot  at  the church, to be forgotten.

    At the same time I realized my appearance  represented the institutional church, which for the majority in the room meant   nothing but judgment, and condemnation to , and yet those who knew me, knew of love, compassion, and acceptance. The dichotomy of good and evil.

    The words spoken during the service were of the good in Jim’s life, nothing said about the pain of drug abuse, amputations of both legs, homelessness, and so much more of his forty seven years; in those moments it all came down to what he left those in the room-his goodness.

    In the last few days I have heard nothing but negative towards me, my work, my character, my life, yet when my ashes are sitting in the sanctuary of St. Luke’s, much will be said of my good. The dichotomy of good and evil.

    Last week a young friend heard a conversation we were having with his dad, his comment, said angrily, “all the shit you two talked about,” and the reality we were just talking–there is nothing just black and white.

    People have hurt me physically and emotionally, and yet I forgive, move on, and continue to serve–the dichotomy of good and evil.

    We are a dichotomy–a mixture of both good and evil; most of the time we ride the fence in between good and evil.  

    It takes our entire lives to come to terms with the reality of our baptism. We are God’s beloved–not just our best sides, but our most evil as well. Someone texted me last night “you are a “mother . .fu. ker,” and I know that, but the good news is that we are not perfect, but still sinners for whom Christ died. To say words do not hurt would be a lie, words hurt immensely, they tear one to pieces, leave one, in pain, doubt, and sometimes fear–of loneliness, of one’s life. Words matter.

    As we slough towards the Kingdom we are called to be heralds of a new creation constantly renewing the world through the experience of the redeeming grace of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Thomas Merton once said: “I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like walking from a dream of separateness.. .”

    Let us move beyond our “dream of separateness,” and see each other as one–on the journey–that will end in the “urn,” but with the hope of redeeming grace, in which we will be washed in the waters of baptism into the new creation.”


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Trusting Our Unique Vocation

January 10, 2020

Trusting Our Unique Vocation

John 10:7-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.

    Yesterday, a twenty year old friend came into the City to hang out, to simply chill. We were  late coming home and he was laying on our   bed tied to his IPHONE, looked up and spoke.

    Matthew  has a set of keys because when we  had surgery two years ago he came in to take care of us the first two weeks when support was needed ; he took off from school, and work. We went out to eat and just hung out, enjoying being together.

    We remember   many a night  sleeping on his floor, as we recovered, with his three dogs sleeping on top of us , we went to Amsterdam and Mexico together. We are thinking of another trip.

    We met Matthew when he volunteered  at 14, and  he kept coming back, and sealed the friendship in the giving of his time to care four years later.

    We have fought, argued, struggled on this journey, and in the last year there has come a peace,and understanding between us. I wear a vest he gave me for Christmas with pride. He takes me out to dinner once a month.

    Matthew  is symbolic of ministry. In many ways when we wanted to walk away from this ministry, the Spirit used him to remind us of our call, so many years ago now.

    Ministry is being vulnerable to others, to sometimes being torn a part, it is the struggle of being honest, and dishonest, making mistakes, but ultimately showing unconditional love.     

    Ministry is meeting people where they are with out judgment, and it is meeting people face to face. Ministry is relationship.

    Henri Nouwen describes ministry in these words: “You have to start trusting your unique vocation and allow it to grow deeper and stronger in you so it can blossom in your community. . .Look at Rembrant and van Gogh. They trusted their vocations and did not allow anyone to lead them astray. . ..They didn’t bend over backward to please their enemies. ….Both ended their lives in poverty, and both left humanity with gifts that could heal the minds and hearts of many generations of people. Think of these two men and trust that you, too, have a unique vocation that is worth claiming and living out faithfully.. .Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”

    In our time we need ministry, hands on, working from the bottom up with people. God calls each one of us–to give of ourselves to others. All of us have a gift to share.

    We struggle, we are criticized, and frankly we will never truly know  our affect on others  it is messy, painful and in the end , our call is to TRY!


Memorial Service to Celebrate the the Life of

Jim Gleason


St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

1755 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA 94109


2:00 p.m.

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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


Preaching the Kingdom of God

January 6, 2020

Jim Gleason 2


Preaching the Kingdom of God

“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

    What was Jesus preaching? What kind of Kingdom? Father Richard Rhor talks of how Jesus stayed in the center, never making judgments, and how in the center we can meet people in  all their differences, and find common ground. He talks of meeting at the center in love of our neighbor.

    The Kingdom as Jesus views it is  from the center of love: “Love the Lord your God with all of your soul, your mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”

    Bishop Reuben Job summed up how he saw the gospel as the United Methodist Church began tearing itself a part:

“Do No Harm, Do Good, And stay in love with God!”


I was given two books for Christmas, by  two sets of friends: “The Faith of Donald Trump” and Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.” 

    I will read both, I will treasure them as coming from two couples who have loved us and our work through the years. I will listen and ponder the message of each book without judgment. For us  that is what Jesus meant when he said, “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” To love, to respect, each person for who they are, and not to judge. 

    Saturday we are having a memorial service for Jim Gleason at 2:00 p.m. Jim was a gentleman who struggled with addiction and poverty the majority of his life, and in that struggle provided an example that we should not bring our human judgment on others. His life like all of our lives was a mixture, and at its center was the goodness in which he provided and cared for those around him, demonstrating the example of “loving our neighbor”:

Memorial Meditation for Jim Gleason

March 8, 1972-December 11, 2019

2:00 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Saturday, January 11, 2020

God of Rainbow and Fiery Pillar

Genesis 9:8-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”


    Julian Rush prays: “:You are a wild and crazy God, you see us and love us for who we are. .God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar we your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.”

    It is this God that  holds us in his hands  today, the God who is wild, and crazy, and loves us for who we are. There was a survey on Facebook which  ask us to choose from such items as ” have you wrecked a car, driven drunk, and others much worse,” followed by the  giving of  points for each answer, up to 250 points.

    Most people scored in the low hundreds, I scored 210. Someone wrote to me and said “you are a bad boy,” and I laughed for I was and am a  “bad boy”. You see we are all “bad boys and girls,” God knows and , being wild himself loves us intensely.

    God created human beings in order to have fellowship, and communion; He loved his creation, but humans, being humans, found other ways of behaving, and did many evil things to one another and ignored God.

    So in her anger, God flooded the earth, and gave Noah the mission of saving a pair of each creature on earth, in order to begin again.

    Soon after the flood subsided, and Noah had unloaded the  ark, God realized that in creating humanity, a choice was given to them, to choose evil and good, which was the beauty of his creation. She also realized that being humans we would choose evil, more than good, and so God made this promise:  “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

    That promise was  to remind God  not to destroy the earth but to be patient, and through the years as  humanity kept  sinning God  brought Jesus into the world, and again humanity chose evil,  Jesus was crucified, but this time in the resurrection God made the ultimate promise–she will love us regardless, through his grace we find hope and ultimate wholeness. We will not be abandoned, but promised eternity.

    This “wild and crazy God, this God of the rainbow and pillar,” in his own wildness, understands the wildness we have inherited from her, and surrounds us with the rainbow of love, for God sees both the good and the evil in creation  and bends humanity  to the good, ever so slowly.     We make mistakes that often cripple , hurt, and destroy ourselves and  others, but God continues to work and mold each one of us, and as we move into eternity, bringing wholeness and good to all creation.

    One of my seminary professors talked of how at the end of time, God would bring us together in a great therapy session, in order to heal our scars, bringing us into wholeness. Creation becomes new and whole. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arch moving towards good  bends ever so slowly,” and we are bending ever so slowly  on our journeys. Let us be patient with one another.

    Jim’s journey is complete in this earthly realm, but in eternity he will continue to grow, mature, and become whole, as we will.

    Jim was wild, and crazy, and in that wildness and craziness showed love to many people, gave of his money when he had little, cared for friends, and so give thanks for Jim’s life, and remember the:

“God of rainbow, fiery pillar,

leading where the eagle’s soar

we your people, ours the journey now and ever,

now and ever, now and evermore.” Amen.


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164