Ultimately I Believe!

Ultimately I believe!

Mark 12:18-27

The Sadducee’ s argue with  Jesus over life after death and divorce, and Jesus basically ignores their questions, and answers opaquely. He knows this debate takes away from the reality of the pain of people in their daily lives.

I have been having a messaging conversation with people in my high school graduation class about our up coming reunion. They are asking all sorts of questions about vacation plans etc. And they talk of going to Bran-sen,etc with their families and their friends from high school. Usually I simply do not answer or give a vague answer, but I thought just once, just be honest and maybe I would not hear from them again and so I said, “Let’s see in early winter I went to Amsterdam with two of  my eighteen year old friends and we had a blast, and in April to Mexico with them as well, again another blast, and have a road trip planned with two of my eighteen year old friends to Tijuana this summer. Last night I was out late doing needle exchange, sitting with a bunch of kids who were  doing drugs, and just hanging out until 3:00 a.m. We simply hung out as friends, no preaching, no judgment, just friends.

I grew up in a southern town where I was a straight edge, I was far from conservative,but kept it to myself, played the game, questioned my sexuality, but I got a girl pregnant, while that put me on the outside as a “sinner” for a while, that took care of doubts about my sexuality, I played it up to the hilt. My parents bought me a blue 1963 mustang, an antique,  in top shape, so I was popular. The reality is that I was never so lonely in my life, I thought of suicide a lot. Surrounded by “friends”, but never my real self.

I went to college, seminary, and was a United Methodist pastor, where again I was Mr. straight edge, and played the role. And than I had no choice and was forced to confront all of that sh’t.

Those years shaped me, and have effected me psychologically, even now. I have a friend who came out as gay, and never could go home again, a nice kid, really a nice and kind kid.

Even though I am now true to myself the insecurities still remain, I lose friends over who I am, and I struggle with friendship,  I struggle all the time, I doubt,  and never really feel secure, but I have come to experience Jesus as the One who transcends all barriers and whose presence is sustaining.

We need to look at ourselves, at how we relate, interact, and our past, and see if we are transmitting that past in our anger, in our doubts, and if we are hurting others. The Gospel I preach,and  I try to live, and I will die for teaches us that it is in love of all, that we find life. That is the call.

I am not going back to any reunion, god I would have to be drunk for two days, instead I am going to have fun with my friends here, with my kids in the Park and the Tenderloin.  And when they ask for a photo to publish I am going to send them one in a short sleeve clergy shirt with all my tattoos! 

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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