I know I promised that the oh-so-exciting Saskatchewan posts were starting today but I have another thing to write about today. It is very interesting to me how things come into your life. For instance, Kelly of Kelly's Korner has been doing a Show Us Your Life series this summer. Through that I met Erika from Something Beautiful. Erika mentioned an online book club hosted by Camila at Mattornety Life and I was hooked. Camila suggested the book Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent.
In a word this book was inspiring. It also made me cry a lot. I wish I had known that before I took it to read on an airplane :)
Ron and Denver met because Ron's wife Debbie felt called to volunteer to serve supper every Tuesday night at the Union Gospel Mission in Fort Worth. Debbie pushed Ron to become friends with Denver and it changed Ron's life.
I like the way the book was written by both Ron and Denver, in their own voices. I was shocked at the conditions people lived with, and are still enduring, in America in our current day. Denver writes about working for The Man, and I could not believe that these sorts of circumstances were current. I honestly thought slavery in North America ended with Lincoln and the Civil War but I was wrong.
I like how honest Ron was about the kind of person and husband he was. I thought Debbie's love for her husband was exemplary, especially in this day and age where people divorce for what seem like such insignificant reasons. Debbie fought for her marriage and turned it around. Ron stepped out on a limb because of his love for Debbie and it changed his life.
A few images stick with me from the book and I've thought a lot about them since reading it.
1) Denver asks Ron if Ron is going to treat his friendship with him as a "catch and release" kind of thing. "If you is fishin for a friends you just gon' catch an release, then I ain't got no desire to be your friend. But if you is lookin for a real friend, then I'll be one. Forever." (p 107). The honesty shown by Denver here is astounding and I wonder how much more real our friendships would be if we all followed this. Are you a friend forever or just for now?
2) The story of Debbie's illness and death had me sobbing. And the way Debbie hung on, was realistic about her fate, and how it shook both Ron and Denver makes me tear up just writing about it now.
3) The devotion of Debbie and Sister Betty to the Union Gospel Mission is inspiring. I wish I had that heart for serving others. It's much easier to just say "No, I don't have spare change" to the homeless people I encounter, and make donations to places, but actually walking down to a soup kitchen (every week, mind you) and serving others is a challenge to me.
I will end here but I am so glad that I was alerted to this book's presence because it is a book that needs to be read. And it is especially a book that I needed to read.