In an attempt to 'minister and serve' in the Union Gospel Mission of Ft. Worth, Texas, Ron Hall attempted to befriend a homeless man named Denver Moore. His attempt didn't go off too well, as Denver wasn't very interested in any friendship with Ron. Afterall, what did they have in common? However, Ron felt that his sucess by the world's standards was a significant offering to this poor black man.
How arrogant this rich white man was...Denver would teach him a thing or two!
"What do you want with me?" Denver asked one day to Ron. "I just want to be your friend," said Ron. "Friend?" Denver proceeded to tell him there was one thing he heard growing up as a boy in Louisiana--that white people, while fishing catch their fish and then release them back into the water. Ron confirmed this was true. Denver told Ron if he was thinking about catching him in a friendship for a time and then releasing him soon after, that he would not be interested in a friendship with him at all.
I got to thinking, isn't this what we do in ministry and in some of our relationships with others? We catch them, and then we release them. We're in and then we're out. This is not the picture of a true relationship, and this is definitely not the example of Christ.
I've started a new job this week-my first after graduating from seminary. I will be ministering to women in an inner-city community in south Dallas. This story reminds me in ministry to be about the business of people, not programs! I don't want to catch women and then release them. I want to catch them, and relying on God's strength, never let them go.
Read along with me more of Ron & Denver's story in Same Kind of Different as Me. It's going to start off my summer reading! Let me know if you too will be reading it.