AMARILLO – When Ron Hall read Luke 10, he used to “wear out” the Levite and priest who passed by the injured man on the road without offering to help. He pondered how they could do such a thing, how they could ignore the need before them.
That is, until he realized he’d been doing the same thing for years, walking by the homeless outside his office building without looking them in the eye or saying a word.
“I used to call the police on them,” said Hall, author of Same Kind of Different as Me.” I used to sidestep them like the priest and the Levite.”
His attitude changed after his wife had a dream about a homeless man in Fort Worth and practically forced Hall to find the man in her dream and attempt to befriend him. After a few weeks of serving in the Union Gospel Mission, the Halls found the man Deborah had dreamed about.
The man, Denver, was rough and difficult to approach. But after numerous invitations for meals, Denver finally capitulated to becoming Ron Hall’s friend after coming to believe Hall wanted a true relationship, not an object for benevolence.
Denver became an unexpected source of wisdom and strength for Hall. Despite Denver being illiterate, Hall discovered the homeless man was insightful, helping Hall look at life in a different way. Denver was particularly helpful when Deborah was diagnosed with cancer. He prayed eight hours a night by a dumpster for the Halls. He encouraged Deborah and Ron.
When Deborah died, Denver moved in with Ron. Ron and Denver’s friendship continued to grow, and they wrote the bestselling book Same Kind of Different as Me, which details how they became friends. The book has created opportunities for the duo to visit with people in more than 250 cities across the nation and raise more than $70 million for the homeless.
“I was so convicted,” he said. “The man I thought had nothing to offer me in friendship gave me the most precious gift.”
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