Slowly, Ron begins to feel a change within himself, a warmth within his heart. Waking on Tuesdays, he feels the thrill of anticipation of spending time at the Union Gospel Mission. Ron continues to see Denver, but even using Denver’s name seems to irritate him and he keeps his distance.
Ron’s development into a compassionate figure who cares for others, rather than just himself, suggests that a sense of fulfillment was missing from his former, materialist lifestyle, further suggesting that such self-absorbed living is inherently empty.
The other homeless people at the mission take to Deborah, calling her “Mrs. Tuesday.” Deborah appreciates this, but still wants to gain their trust, so she begins organizing events midweek for the people on the street—movie nights, beauty shop nights, monthly birthday celebrations for anyone who claims to be born in that month. As Ron and Deborah do this, many of the homeless people begin confiding in them, telling them things they had never told anyone else—“It was just the simple act of caring.”
Ron and Deborah’s relationship with the homeless people at the mission grows when they simply find ways to spend time with them. This is a critical realization for both of them, suggesting that the most powerful way to love and serve someone is not to just give them things, but to invest time in them and value them.
Ron and Deborah find out that a friend of theirs is hosting an outreach night at the Caravan of Dreams, a hip jazz lounge in a nicer part of town. Ron and Deborah tell their friends at the mission, and on the night of the event, pick up two carloads of homeless people, each dressed in the best things they could find. Denver is there too, wearing a suit. On the drive, Ron tries to make conversation but is unable to get him to talk. When they arrive, everyone enters the lounge except for Denver, who stands alone outside for a long time. When he finally does sit down, Ron sits next to him and pats him on the knee. Wordlessly, Denver stands and moves to a different row by himself.
Like Deborah’s kindness, Ron’s physical affection contradicts Denver’s mean demeanor and the physical and emotional distance he has put between himself and anyone else. Although Ron’s intentions were good and physical affection is a powerful gift to give someone, it seems an affront to Denver. This demonstrates not only the complexity of people, but especially the difficulty of developing a relationship with someone who has spent several decades simply trying to survive.
After the evening has ended and everyone is loading back into the cars, Denver approaches Ron and apologizes for avoiding him after he and Deborah had just been trying to be nice to him. Denver offers to have a cup of coffee with Ron some time and chat. Ron is so excited, he asks if Denver will have breakfast with him the following morning.
Denver’s apology and offer to meet are a surprising breach of character for a man who is usually so unapproachable. This again demonstrates, to both Ron and the reader, that despite Denver’s rough appearance, he is a complex and dynamic person who is indeed aware of the feelings of others.