Same Kind of Different As Me (by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, 2006) is the perfect book club book for our group this month. We recently enjoyed (and yet struggled through) the deep Christian doctrines in Mere Christianity. This one is a true story about practical Christian living.
Same Kind of Different as Me captures a true story of two very different men finding understanding and purpose in life through faith, service, and friendship. While some aspects of the book irritated me, I did enjoy the quick read that it was, and I look forward to my book club meeting on it (tomorrow night).
Ron Hall is a multi-million dollar businessman, come to riches in the last decade through a lucky break in the high class world of art dealing. Denver Moore is an illiterate homeless black man, living on the streets after running from his childhood of picking cotton in oppressive conditions. Deborah Hall is Ron’s wife, and she feels she’s been given a calling to work among the homeless of Fort Worth.
Both men are well past middle age when Deborah tells Ron that the violent man across the room is the one he needs to be friends with: she’s seen his face in a dream and just knows that Denver has great potential. I loved how this true story illustrated the power of the concept from the scriptures: we can’t judge outward appearances.
For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
I’ve learned my lesson in criticizing books with good messages (i.e., people get all up in arms offended) so I won’t do that. I don’t feel very strongly about this book either way; I neither loved it nor hated it. It was not the best written, yet, the story was inspiring.
I will also say I wasn’t crazy about some things, namely Ron, but in the end, that’s okay. His wife Deborah was a nice woman, but at the beginning, Ron was portrayed as a bit of a spoiled brat, and I never felt he finished changing in to a guy I’d like to meet. He still seemed a bit spoiled, and I wondered at his lack of faith during his crises. But, I haven’t been through a similar crisis to his, so I don’t know where I’d be myself! I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, and the story of friendship was definitely an inspiring one.
I think that is one of the great things about a Christian putting his story of faith, hope, and friendship out there for others to read. We all have room to grow, even Ron who has written this book about searching for faith through service and friendship. In terms of this true account, Mr. Hall wasn’t the most impressive personality to me, but I certainly loved reading about how he and Denver, together, made a difference in each others’ lives and in the community.
In their case, change came about primarily because of Deborah’s sensitivity to the Spirit as she sought to fulfill God’s purposes on earth. May we all strive to have that sensitivity to the Spirit too!