Several years back, our Pastor recommended a book called "Same Kind of Different as Me". Although I never got around to reading it, I was excited to read the follow up book, "What difference Do it Make?."
The book alternates between chapters by Ron (a wealthy volunteer at a homeless shelter,) chapters by Denver (a former shelter resident, now one of Ron's closest friends,) and notes and stories about people who read the first book, and were so moved by it that they began to change their attitudes and actions toward homeless people.
The portions of the book dealing with Ron and Denver's upbringing and early life are intriguing in their own right. It's always interesting to see how people came to be who they are. Although you don't get a blow by blow life story on either man, you get to read bits and pieces about their lives that shaped them, for better and worse.
The stories about their experiences together in the shelter and on the street chronicle Ron's transformation from a privileged man afraid to get his hands dirty with the homeless, to someone who genuinely cares about people. Denver helps him understand that underneath our superficial differences, we are all God's people, and that we are directed by God to care for each other, not excepting the dirty and troubled, but especially them.
The book is a love story, as well. Ron talks about losing his beloved wife to cancer, and trying to find meaning in her death, and his life without her. His writing is a tribute to her, an attempt to spread her message of love and generosity.
The stories from the readers of the first book were my favorite part.They show how regular folks felt compelled to do something authentic for the less fortunate. Some of the stories are of big projects involving many people, others involved only a single person or family. They all began to see the homeless as real people, people who matter. I came away questioning if I'm doing enough.
And that's the point, I think.
Check it out, this is a good one.
(Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book to review by Thomas Nelson publishing company. No other compensation was received, and this review represents my personal opinion.For more information about the the Book Blogger Program, check out www.brb.thomasnelson.com. For more product information, you can go to http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=0849920191&title=What-Difference-Do-It-Make.)