The Grace of John the Baptist

The Grace of John’s Name

The Nativity of John the Baptist

Luke 1:76-77

“And, you child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of sins.”

Description: Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting Description: Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Ken Sharp-Knott

May 25 at 11:23 AM

Posted by a nurse who works with ventilators:

“For people who don’t understand what it means to be on a ventilator but want to take the chance to go out or back to work….

For starters, it is NOT an oxygen mask that is put over the mouth while the patient comfortably lies down and reads journals.

Ventilation for Covid-19 is a painful intubation that goes down your throat and stays there until you live or you die.

It is done during anesthesia for 2 to 3 weeks without moving, often upside down, with a tube deposited from your mouth up to the air pipe and allows you to breathe to the rhythm of the lung machine.

Patient can’t talk or eat or do anything natural – the machine keeps you alive. Discomfort and pain they feel from this means that medical experts must administer sedatives and pain meds to ensure pipe tolerance as long as the machine is needed.

It’s like being in an artificial coma. After 20 days from this treatment, a young patient loses 40% muscle mass and gets trauma in the mouth or voice cords, as well as possible lung or heart complications.

It is for this reason that old or already weak people can’t stand treatment and die. Many of us are in this boat…so stay safe if you don’t want to take the chance to end up here. This is NOT the flu!

They put a tube in your stomach, either through your nose or skin for liquid food, a sticky bag around your butt to collect diarrhea, one to collect urine, an IV for liquids and meds…
…an A-line to monitor your BP it is completely dependent on finely calculated with doses, teams of nurses, CRNA and MA to move your limbs every two hours and lie on a carpet circulating ice cold liquid to help reduce your 104° degree temp.

All of this while your loved ones cannot even come to visit. You will be alone in a room with your machine. Or your mother will. Or your father. Or your son or daughter. Or wife or husband.

But…you think wearing a mask is uncomfortable and humiliating.



“You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. :You will know, you will know when it is right.”


Today we celebrate the “Nativity of John the Baptist,” the last prophet, who pointed to Jesus. He did not dress as a priest, eat the same foods, or  act like one or have the appearance of  the majority of the people–he appeared wired and crazy, and unkempt.


    We have a priest friend, Father Greg,  who lives in South Carolina, he works as a chaplain in the hospital, and in recent days  has shared his feelings of depression and anger, at those who  simply ignore the dangers of the Pandemic, and the apathy of uncaring of the vast majority of  people, “after all they are just homo sapiens, so what more can you expect.”(from an article we read.) This is a reality of many, many people but God brings hope.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was right when he said, in a paraphrase, that “the arch of change moves slowly, and sometimes goes back before it goes forward.”

     Change is taking place, but ever so slowly, and whether it brings the positive or brings the  negative, that is always in question. and depends upon our humanity. Personally my guess is it is always in  the grey areas, that we find change.

    In the above we have photos of what it  is like have have the virus and be on ventilators, personally I do not want to snuggle with a ventilator. 

    So I invite you to look at the photos, read the article, and ask:  “What have I done, what am I doing, and what will I do?” in this pandemic to protect myself, my loved ones, my brothers and sisters, and what will I do in the future?”

    Seeing people on the street who have suffered the disease, seeing them back in their corner  of the street, with tattered blanks, giving a young man or woman, food, blankets, a mask, is difficult as you hear their story of fear, , loneliness, little food, and difficulty in finding a place to sleep is hearth wrenching. It  is difficult to hear of the isolation and difficulty of getting food of those who live in SRO’s, the majority of which are  Senior Citizens, no family, no one to talk to.

    All of this tears at one’s heart. Especially when you have everything–a place to call home, plenty of food, health insurance, and friends to hang and have fun with.

    Depression, doubt, and fear come with the job. It is  depression that a quick talk with a therapist or a pill will fix. It is a depression we live with, work through, and love our work. 

    Dorothy Day tells me every day:

“You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you. :You will know, you will know when it is right.”

    Both Greg, I, and so many others, know the  joy, even in the midst of death, persecution, and doubt. It is that joy which ultimately lifts us up.

    “Giving knowledge of salvation,” is John’s prayer, we pray each morning in the Benedictus, Luke 1:68-79, and it is also ours, and in praying it each morning we feel convicted  by it.

    God has called us to tell the Good News of Jesus. We are called to tell the stories of faith and transformation and that our sins have been forgiven. We are free to love and be loved, to be joyful and to spread joy. To walk with our brothers and sisters in their pain.

“The dawn from on high (has broken) upon us, to give light, to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.”

    Through the years, the ever so many) primarily )young men who have passed before us, the many who have died so young; each one we cared for,  it brings me personally to the brink of despair, but the message that John proclaims reminds me “The dawn from on high has broken up on us”, and that gives me hope.

    And so Greg know I am with you, and look around and you too will feel that “Great Cloud of Witnesses”, cheering us to  keep on keeping on until we hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant, and we join our forbears in “the Great Cloud of Witnesses.” Deo Gratis! Thanks be to God!


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

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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