Words for Wednesdays
A poor homeless man. A rich art dealer. They wouldn’t score high on a friendship compatibility test. But in God’s eyes, they were a perfect match.
A true story, Same Kind of Different as Me inspired me in ways I hardly expected when I casually picked the book off of my brother’s shelf. His family had moved, and as I was helping them unpack a couple of boxes, the title intrigued me. I thought I had heard of it somewhere. When I saw it was a true story, that sparked my interest ever further.
What I found was an inspirational read that gave me eyes to see the world more as God sees it.
When Ron Hall, the wealthy businessman, approaches Denver, the poor component of the duo, about becoming friends, Denver makes a speech that I found to be personally soul-searching:
“I heard that when white folks go fishin they do something called ‘catch and release… That really bothers me,” Denver went on. “I just can’t figure it out. ‘Cause when we colored folks go fishin, we really proud of what we catch, and we take it and show it off to everybody that’ll look. Then we eat what we catch… in other words, we use it to sustain us. So it really bothers me that white folks would go to all that trouble to catch a fish then when they done caught it, just throw it back in the water… so Mr. Ron, it occurred to me: If you is fishin for a friend you just gon’ catch and release, then I ain’t got no desire to be your friend.. but if you’re lookin for a real friend, then I’ll be one. Forever.”
Denver Moore,Same Kind of Different as Me. p107
I don't think there's anything I can add to that statement - it is what it is, and it is so true. Catch and release. Don’t get deep. If the fish gets too wiggly or you get tired of it, release it back in.
The closest I get to homelessness and poverty on a daily basis is the various man or woman holding a cardboard sign at the corner of a busy intersection.
Since reading the book, I haven't run down to a shelter or befriended a homeless person off the street. But while grocery shopping this week, there was an older man hovering by the watermelons, and we sparked a conversation. He showed the kids and I how to pick out the best one, knowing just the right way to thump it to listen for juice. We had a little bongo moment as we watched him pretend the watermelon were drums. It only lasted a few minutes, but my heart was definitely softened to those who are usually invisible to me, as I go quickly through my day, checking items off my list.
The book moves back and forth between the men, speaking in first person from their point of view. The events that happen are what they are. No theological explanation is given, which I appreciate, because some of the events were hard for my mind to comprehend. But that’s so often how life is. Stuff happens, some we can’t explain, and we keep walking by faith until our journey leads us home.
“The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or something in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless – just workin our way toward home.”
Denver Moore, Same Kind of Different as Me, p235