January 12, 2009
On the advice of some veteran missionary women, I have come to value my "alone time" in the hammock as sacred. No, I'm not seeing visions of angels or having massive revelations from God there, but I greatly value that time each day, sitting out in the shade, where it's cooler than in the house. Sometimes I take my work out there, as in this picture, but I've tried to just use it for reading or resting.
The past few days, I've taken this time to read an ebook I received from Thomas Nelson, called Same Kind of Different as Me (written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore). I purposefully didn't read any summaries of this book ahead of time, wanting to be surprised by the contents. Was I ever!
This true story chronicles a woman's commitment to follow God, as told through the eyes of her affluent husband (Ron) and the homeless man (Denver) she reached out to. It's so well-written, I had a hard time putting it down. From the beginning, the two men alternate chapters, taking plenty of time to lay the groundwork with stories of their pasts. I found that, though completely different, the two men had similar threads running through their lives, as I guess we all do. They forge a friendship at the urging of Ron's wife and end up friends for life, with lots of adventure along the way. (I'll leave out the major twist in the story so as not to ruin it for you, but I can tell you that you're halfway through the book before the main adventure really gets started, so to speak.)
It was hard for me to read some parts. Denver endured a lot of hardships as a black man sharecropping in Louisiana. I know human suffering exists, but I'm ultra-sensitive to descriptions of violence. I was able to get through this whole book, though, without having to skip pages. So while it was definitely impacting, the violence was handled well. I cried through the last fourth of the book, very moved by how God had orchestrated these three lives to affect so much change. The true story is absolutely incredible--very touching and yet exciting from start to finish. A great way to spend my time in the hammock, although I'd recommend the book to you whether or not you have access to a hammock!