My thanks to the folks at Thomas Nelson for providing the PDF download of The Same Kind of Different as Me through their Book Review Bloggers program. I really like to hold a book in my hand, carry it around the house, and read snatches whenever I can. This was a new experience for me, and since I normally spend a good part of each day on the computer, I wasn’t sure how much I would like reading for pleasure via a computer screen. I cranked the zoom up to 200%, leaned back and read the entire book in a few hours (over three evenings).
The Same Kind of Different as Me is the real-life account of the friendship that developed between two very unlikely men—Ron Moore, an international art dealer and a crusty, homeless black man, Denver Moore, who grew up a modern day slave in twentieth century Louisiana.
Slavery in this day and age? In America? I’m afraid so. Only in the 1940s and 50s (since the Civil War actually) it was known as sharecropping, where third and fourth generation black families were held captive in their poverty and deplorable living conditions by being indebted to the Man who gave them work and a place to live—for Denver a shack no bigger than a backyard storage shed.
Their encounter and subsequent friendship came about when Deborah Hall, Ron’s wife, developed a passion to help the underprivileged in Fort Worth, Texas. As in all relationships, trust and a true bond didn’t happen overnight, but when it did, amazing things began to happen. Trust. Unconditional love. Friendship that didn’t last for just a season, but for a lifetime. God’s moving in the hearts and lives of an entire community.
Several applications stand out for me.
- Refreshing honesty by the authors.
- A call to examine our own hearts and motives. Helping the disadvantaged gratuitously may not be the “caring for the poor and needy” that will make a lasting difference.
- Am I guilty of prejudice or a judgmental attitude, even unwittingly?
- Am I ready to pour my heart and soul into a committed effort to help the poor in my area?
- God can do miraculous things when folks hear His voice and call upon Him to move. This speaks to me both as an individual and for us as a nation.
- The glory for changing people’s hearts and lives belongs to our sovereign God.
For entertainment value, I’d give this book a B. It was a fast read, and I was particularly fond of Denver. For provoking thought and issuing a call to action, I’d give it an A.
For the courage to take their story public and proclaim God’s glory—An A+.
Has anyone else read this book? What are your thoughts?