Crossing the Road For One Another

Matt. 12: 1-8

“We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics.
There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the street once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might become neighbours.” Henri Nouwen
“An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all.”
– Dorothy Day
(How might you help to lighten the load of another today?)
The one thing I have learned through the years is that when we befriend our death we see our losses as a form of death, and God working to bring resurrection.
My grand parents died when I was young, my parents died when I was young–and I found myself befriending death; from their deaths came resurrection; in my former denomination I was removed for being queer, I lost all of my friends at that time, they turned away; my sister and most of my relatives turned their faces–as a result of my being queer; resurrection has come in new life in being out, in becoming a priest in another fellowship, and new friends; through the years I have had over 2000 kids and my own son die; Polk Street has become gentrified, and in those deaths, resurrection has come; friends come and go and their is death in their leaving, but then comes resurrection;
We are always dying, and as we flow in our death we find resurrection.
Our streets are full of homeless; my food out put, socks, and pastoral care increases daily; people are hurting, feeling threatened by losing their housing; death is present all around us–and we must befriend that death and find resurrection in sharing of what we have with others; die to putting the responsibility on our government, and those outside of ourselves and be the neighbor of all around us. When people tell me that my friendliness is “just your southern hospitality,” frankly I tell them it is bull shit–it is my loving people as another Christ and following Christ in his call to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
+Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164