Leaving the Tombs Behind

Leaving the Tombs Behind!

Our Father and Mother of Everything

your presence fills all of creation.

Again today your Reign has come.

Again today, I join my will to your will

to make earth as heaven.

Again today ;you will give us bread we need for

our daily work.

And you will show mercy to us just as we show mercy to others.

Again today as we face times of testing,

you’ll be with us in our trials. Amen.


    Today is a day of “infamy” in my life. For on a warm, May 12 night, coming home from a small church in a rural area of Missouri, my brother was killed in a car accident. He was driving, for I was teaching him how to drive. That day changed my life for ever.

    I was serving a parish, so everything that happened was public, and the rumors, were rampant. A minister friend, Earnie, told me  as I lay in the hospital: “You will now have before you two roads, one is the safe road, the road of the institution, of simply with drawing from your journey, and staying safe, or the other–you will race cars, you will let your wildness come through and live your life in  the moment.” I chose the latter, and race cars in my own manner.


    That night the words of Karen Beattie  began its formation in my being:

I once heard someone say, “May you leave many tombs behind you.” It’s a shocking statement in many ways. “Tomb” implies that there has been a death. Who wants to die? But the statement also implies a resurrection. If we are “leaving a tomb behind,” that means that somehow we have been resurrected and you have gotten up and walked out of the tomb.

We are living out the Gospel story of life, Death, Resurrection—the Paschal mystery—throughout our lives; whenever we experience a loss, or life doesn’t turn out the way we want, or we have to give up a dream. During those dark times, a part of us dies, but the story doesn’t end. We get up and walk out of the tomb into new life. I cling to the Resurrection story. It is the rhythm of my life. It gives my suffering context. It gives me hope.

    I am continuing to learn four things from that day:

     first is to listen, to simply listen, to be present to that person, totally present;

     secondly, to take people for who they are without judgment; I stopped judging because of being judged so harshly by strangers for, it is not our place to judge for we never know the whole story;

    thirdly, life is chance, God puts before us paths we can choose, one to life or  one to death, but life is chance, and

    finally  to center on Jesus:

“The place which  Jesus takes in our soul he will nevermore vacate, for in us is his home of homes, and it is the greatest delight for him to dwell there. .And the soul who contemplates this is made like (the One) who is contemplated.” Julian of Norwich

    Each day we walk out of the tomb into a new life, and let us embrace our lives, in all of their fullness. Let us live on the wild side!

Lord, your patience exceeds our comfort. We pray to step beyond the boundaries of what we call kindness. Expand our notion of mercy and enable us to turn toward our enemies even when they do not turn toward us. Amen. (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164





You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply