Ron Hall and Denver Moore - international art dealer and street bum, respectively - have done it again. The tale of their most improbable friendship, begun in the book "Same Kind of Different as Me", continues in "What Kind of Difference Do It Make."
Denver Moore is a homeless street bum, living on the streets of Ft. Worth. He is wary at first of the efforts by Ron and Debbie Hall to help the homeless in the Union Gospel Mission. Over time, though, Ron and Debbie break through his tough exterior and discover a heart of gold.
Shortly after this, Debbie begins a year-long, losing battle with cancer. Throughout the painful loss, Denver and Ron weave a story of how God uses us all - even when we think the differences are too great.
After the publication of the first book, Ron and Denver's friendship begins to grow and impact people all over the country. They decide to continue their story and write another book. Struggling over the title one day, Ron asked Denver for his opinion. Denver's response: "What difference do it make?
The title is so appropriate because that's their story, told over and over in ways that will grip your heart: one person can make a difference.
Throughout the book, the focus is about homelessness. Over and over, Denver patiently teaches Ron and others about what life on the street is - and how we can see the homeless as real people. Here's a sample story when Ron is hesitant to give money to a homeless man:
Maybe you is right. The thing about it is, though, gifts is free. When you give a person a gift, you is also givin that person the freedom to do whatever they want with it. When you give a homeless man a dollar, you ain't saying, "Here-go b yourself a chicken." If you really wanted him to have some food, you'd take him in the McDonald's and buy him a Big Mac and a apple pie.
No, when you give a homeless man a dollar, what you really saying is, "I see you. You ain't invisible. You is a person." I tells folks to look at what's written on all that money they be givn away: it says "In God We Trust." You just be the blessin. Let God worry about the rest.
More powerful one-liners from Denver:
I notice a lotta folks doin more lookin at the Bible than doin what it says
You got to go inside 'cause that's where God is - in the deepest place inside you
Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be
If you gon' walk these streets with me, you gon' have to learn how to serve these people without judgin 'em. Let the judgin' be up to God
The most personally impacting comment for me was when Denver challenges the reader to be both a blessing and a help:
Blessin means you give a person a little gift to show 'em you think they matters on this earth, and helpin is when you stoop down with a person and stay there till they can climb on your shoulder to get up
God, help us all to stoop down this week.