Excerpts from this story originally appeared on our blog in 2016. We are republishing parts of the story to announce a book signing with the author.
I was familiar with the story Same Kind of Different As Me, but I had to confess to his daughter, Regan, that I had not yet read the book. That afternoon, I ran to purchase a copy so I could get started. At the time, my son was swimming with FAST at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center off of I-20, and his practice gave me an hour to get started on the first few chapters. It only took getting through Chapter 3, and the tears starting flowing. A lot of them. I didn’t expect to immediately connect to the story, but I was hooked. The real-life story of an international art dealer is juxtaposed with a modern-day slave/homeless man, both living quite extraordinary lives on the opposite end of the spectrum, yet both going through the full range of the human experience with all its supremely intensified emotions.
That evening after we put the kids to bed, I dove back into the book. The next morning, I didn’t get out of bed until I finished it. My daughter told me “Mommy, please stop reading that book, it’s making you sad”. That sweet girl of mine didn’t understand that I wanted to cry. Each chapter was giving me the faith I had lost in the last few years that I didn’t even realize I was so desperate to have back. The life and death of Ron’s wife Deborah Hall especially moved me. Her courage and perseverance in realizing her dream of helping to build a homeless shelter where everyone is treated as “God’s people”, not as an afterthought, is incredibly inspiring. And that dream is being met year after year at the Union Gospel Mission of Fort Worth. Her other dream of her husband befriending a homeless man who was a wise man is absolutely without question a divine one.
The book brought me closer to God and to find ways to allow the Spirit to fill me and do good works. What has been years of “me me me” has been replaced with “what can I do?”. Ron and Denver carried Debbie’s torch, and it shines brightly, not only in Fort Worth, but in cities nationwide. Their story has inspired so many generous people to give millions of dollars to help the homeless. I consider myself incredibly lucky to help share their story.
This Friday, April 20th, Regan Hall Art, in collaboration with Madeworthy, will be hosting a book signing at the WestBend shopping center from 4 to 6 pm. Bring your well-loved copy, or purchase a new one. This book makes a great gift for someone who needs a little (or a little more) inspiration in their lives. You can follow the updates and RSVP here on our Facebook event page.