Monday, September 28, 2009

One Person Can Make a Difference

In this heart warming sequel to “Same Kind of Different as Me.” Ron Hall and Denver Moore tell us what happened after the book was published. The stories of ordinary people suddenly realizing that they can do something to create change were remarkable. God does work miracles if you give him a little opening.

The story of Jose the stone mason was one of the most moving and important in the book. Ron looked at the man and saw a drunk. In an area populated by homeless people, addicts, and the mentally ill, that was what he was programmed to see. The lesson from the story is simple: in order to help people, we have to look beyond the surface and see the real person. However, as with all lessons there is a caution. Safety is an important issue. Few sane people would walk into a cage with a tiger without taking any safety precautions. It's important to help the homeless, but in doing so, it's equally important to remember that these are damaged people. Taming wild animals takes time. Likewise it takes time, patience and understanding to make a difference to a homeless person. I'm glad Ron and Denver made this point. I hope people reading the book who want to give of themselves to help the homeless realize that it's not a “catch and release” program. Consistency and commitment are critical.

What a marvelous book. I hope it continues to encourage people to give more than a few dollars and a quick handshake when they try to make a difference.