Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Caught The Hint

Sometimes in life, I notice there are themes, thoughts, suggestions that keep reoccurring. For me, that has most recently been a book. I remember seeing it on the shelf at Sam’s but did not buy it. They did not restock it and it must have moved fast, because I don’t remember it seeing it there as long as other books.

As a friend and I talked at lunch a month or so ago, we were discussing a few of the local shelters and missions. She mentioned this particular book and how great it was.

The Sunday evening Bible study that I attend was using a book titled “Transforming Discipleship.” The study was about our discipleship to the world around us. We worked through the book, ending the study with a service to the community. We assisted another local church with their Sunday evening soup kitchen.

While serving lemonade to over 170 individuals, during some talk amongst ourselves, again the book was mentioned.

Then Ann On and On posted about a new book to check out – the sequel the one that kept popping up.

So I ordered both from Amazon and they arrived.

The first book is “The Same Kind Of Different As Me.” It is written by two gentlemen, a homeless ex con, Denver Moore and an international art dealer, Ron Hall, that had grown up in a lower- working class family. The men were brought together by Mr. Hall’s wife.

I started it this weekend, and it should be a quick read (other than there are kids, and work and a dog and ….).

Then yesterday morning, Friar Tuck posted a book review. You guessed it . . .The Same Kind Of Different As Me. This book appears to speak to many on different levels. As I am only a few chapters in, the thoughts I carry are of that gap between the have and have nots, of reaching out those whose life is missing the essentials, whether it be food or friends. I enjoyed Friar Tuck’s perspective of the friendship between men, and how rare this level of friendship is.

As we served at the supper that Sunday evening, one of the coordinators came up at the beginning and shared about the community that joined them on Sunday evenings. She said not everyone was homeless, many had homes, but maybe not enough food. They have some that are just lonely and limited income and come for the company. I thought of my kid’s great-grandmother (their dad’s side). She had a home, lived by herself out in the county, extremely independent and stubborn, even more so financially strapped and health failing, and at times I think longing for more interaction with others.

I heard that a volunteer at the soup table, while he supported his group with helping serve, is not exactly supporting of the program. His thoughts were that there were people there that didn’t need to be there. Suggesting they took advantage. I can say, I did not see one person that seemed they should not have been there. As I heard said a few months ago, poor isn’t always lack of a roof. Poor can be poor in spirit, poor in family, poor in health, poor in lack of community. This church gives those poor in whatever area a chance to have community, to have fellowship, to have warmth, to feel a part. And I suppose that is what this book also makes me remember. We all are the same in that respect, in that desire to feel apart and accepted.

The second book is “What difference do it make?” It is made up of “stories of hope and healing.” I have flipped through it and am looking forward to starting it next. New stories of different lives and stories of Ron and Denver are laced through the second book with the goal to show what difference each of us can make on the world, how sometimes the small things make the biggest impact.

Have you read the book? What did you think?


Gayle said...

I haven't read them, but they sound like excellent books. Thanks for the tip!

Friar Tuck said...

I have come to the point, in many situations, it is not simply the command to serve those in need we need to hear first. Rather it is simply the call to serve. We will seek out and find real physical needs of those in our communities, and along the way we will serve people who may not need financial help, but nevertheless are ministered to by one person's willingness to serve. And that is also a good thing, and a good witness. So, tell your friend that may not be "into" believing that the people you are helping really need help that the point is to be a servant like Jesus was a servant, regardless of need.

Sandi McBride said...

We never know the needs of people do we? It isn't as though they wear a list on their shirts...I believe God tells us what people need and we instinctively provide it.