In an effort to do nothing over Labor Day weekend, I sat down with a book on Saturday. My pal Lyndsey recommended it to me a number of months ago, but it was in circulation among our friends, so I just got it a few weeks ago.
Same Kind of Different as Me is the true story of Ron Hall, an international art dealer; Denver Moore, a modern-day slave; and Debbie Hall, Ron’s Spirit-sensitive wife who brought the two men together.
The story begins with Ron and Denver telling the stories of their early years, and we see how similar these men are though they lives worlds apart. More than anything, we see how God is shaping their lives to come together decades later.
As the story deepens, we are introduced to Debbie and her devotion to the Lord and to his children. Her love for the poor and homeless in downtown Dallas and Ron’s love for her bring them to serve at the Union Gospel Mission. Without spoiling the story, Ron and Denver vow to be lifelong friends and they change one another’s lives.
The first item of note in this book is the style. As a reader, I didn’t feel like I was reading a book; instead, I felt like I sat down to coffee with this men and listened to them share their once separate, now common story. For one, Denver admits that he cannot read or write so his sections have been transcribed from his verbal narration. Lynn Vincent, who also contributed to this project, did an excellent job piecing these stories together and propelling the story along while moving the reader to continue on this journey.
The second item of note is the authenticity of the writers. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, and we hurt when they hurt, laugh when they laugh, and cry when they cry. Yes, this book made me cry—several times actually—but with good reason (you’ll understand when you read it).
When I closed the book for the final time, I understood that we’re all different—God has created each of us to be unique contributors to the earth he created—, but we’re all the same—we need love, not just from God, but from one another.
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“The healthiest response to life is joy.” — Deepak Chopra