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Ron Hall and Denver Moore’s “The Same Kind of Different as Me”

BLOG #6, SERIES #9

WEDNESDAYS WITH DR. JOE

DR. JOE’S BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB #74

RON HALL AND DENVER MOORE’S SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME

February 7, 2018

First of all, the book’s appearance in our house remains a mystery. One day it was there, the next day it was not. No one has even admitted planting it here.

The mysterious book remained unread for over a year. Finally, curiosity got the better of me–and I picked it up, idly scanning the first few pages. Didn’t take long before I was hooked: This was a book unlike any other book I’d read in my entire lifetime! But even when I’d finished the book, I still wasn’t certain it was for real: In a world awash in hoaxes, fake news, virtual reality, and scams of all kinds, I remained unconvinced.

Finally, while visiting us, our son Greg spied the book on a table, and pounced on it, saying, “There’s a lot of buzz out there about this book–can I borrow it?” So the book walked away with him.

Later, he raved about it: “Dad, that was some read!”

Several years later, Greg purchased the Paramount movie edition of the book and bequeathed it to me rather than surrender the loaned original.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BOOK

For starters, I found it to be a deeply disturbing book, mainly because the protagonists (all actual people) did something mighty few of us professed Christians would ever do ourselves: “Adopt” a homeless Negro street person with a criminal past, invite him into their home and circle of affluent friends–as an EQUAL! Of course, Christ, while on earth, urged people to do just that–but certainly He couldn’t expect Christians of today to do such a thing! As a result, the book and movie portray concepts of selflessness few of us would want to even try in real life.

Apparently, most reviewers feel the book is considerably more powerful than the movie: reason being, only a few of the many riveting scenes in the book were incorporated into the movie. Which is not surprising since virtually all movie portrayals are weaker because time-constraints make it all but impossible to fully replicate all that appears in printed texts.

On the back cover of this new Thomas Nelson edition, we learn more about this 2006 book that has done nothing but gain steam during the last eleven years.

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery.

An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.

A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.

A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.

* * * * *

“I’m honored to share in Debbie’s story and to be part of this beautiful effort to perpetuate the legacy of her work.”

–Renée Zellweger, Actress”It’s a rare opportunity for an actor to be blessed with a role so soulful. To embody Denver’s spirit was at once an emotional challenge and an extreme privilege, learning the story of a man who came from so little and gave so much. The givers truly are the gate-openers for the world.”

–Djimon Hounsou, Actor”Homelessness is epidemic and anyone who fights the battle to help correct the problem deserves our respect and admiration.”

–Greg Kinnear, Actor

* * * * *

The book concludes with these words spoken by Denver Moore, the homeless illiterate drifter who ruled the gang-ridden city streets:

“Even though I’m almost seventy years old, I got a lot to learn too. I used to spend a lotta time worryin that I was different from other people, even from other homeless folks. Then, after I met Miss Debbie and Mr. Ron, I worried that I was so different from them that we wadn’t ever gon’ have no kimnd a’ future. But I found out everybody’s different–the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us.

The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless–just workin our way toward home.”

* * * * *

So hurry to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of this life-changing book. You’ll never be able to forget it, or face a homeless person on the street in the same way you did before.