Here we go! I recently finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me written by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lyn Vincent. It is a true life story about two very different people, one a homeless man and the other an international art dealer.
First off let me say that this is a Christian book. I normally don't read or haven't read Christian literature. I was very pleasently suprised by this book. The story is told through two voices Ron Hall and Denver Moore. We follow them through their lives and see how they end up intersecting. It was really a touching story and it made me think about a few things.
One of the best parts of the book are the little bits of simple wisdom that Denver, the homeless man, sort of just offers up casually. Denver and Ron were talking about the cars that Ron owns and Denver was amazed at how many he had. He asked Ron, "Are you sure you own them, or does they own you?". This gives a small glimpse into who Denver is. He has a different perspective on life and the things in it. Our society places a lot of importance on things, so it comes as no suprise that someone who doesn't quite fit into society at large would have a totally different view. I think we could all learn something by trying to get into his frame of mind.
Another thing that Dener said was when he was talking about a good friend at a local mission. Her name was Miss Debbie. He said that she never asked questions like why are you homeless? Where you been? How many times have you been in jail? She just loved him, no strings attached. This got to me and made me think if I do that with anyone. Loving with no strings attached is a hard thing to do for some reason. So many times churches want perfect parishioners and if they are not up to par then they are unwanted. it's the same with us, we love our friends until we find out something negative about them. I don't think it should be like that. We want others to love us inspite of our flaws so shouldn't we be willing to offer the same?
Lastly (though not the last bit of the book that we can learn from) was the quote, "I know when somebody you love is gone, that's the last time you feel like thanking God. But sometimes we has to be thankful for the things that hurt us." When I read that all I could think was WOW. This is coming from a homeless man, a former sharecropper, someone who has experienced tragedy after trajedy. But he wasn't angry, he wasn't bitter. He knew that through it all life was teaching. It's so easy to get stuck in the moment and stuck in the pain, but Denver (and we should too) looked outside of it. He probably didn't understand the why of it all but he did see that it was teaching or touching someone. I call these moments of pain and hardship growing pains. We all get them and they ALWAYS hurt, but they aren't the end of it all. We have to look outside of it and learn or see where the ones around us are learning from us.
Needless to say it was a wonderful, thought provoking, and inspiring book. It is a unique look at the mindset of our nations homeless and a wonderful history of how each of has the power to affect each other for the better.
P.S. Disclaimer Booksneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.