Tuesday, April 28, 2009

That Human Connection

Same Kind of Different as Me
by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Read this - you'll be glad you did. The writing itself is not gorgeous - the words are the vehicle used to tell the story, but the prose does not sing. The theology of the main characters is limited in ways that make my teeth itch. I suspect that if I were to meet Ron Hall and his late wife, Deborah, in person, I would find them likable and personable, but there would be many theological points on which we would disagree (not to mention political). The story of the unlikely relationship between Denver Moore and the Halls, though, is inspiring and hopeful. The power of connection between people and the possibility of redemption for even the most far gone of souls are ideas worth contemplating, and Same Kind of Different as Me helps us do that.

I read this several weeks ago and then got way behind on my blogging due to some extenuating circumstances with both work and family. This longer than normal lag between reading a book and posting about it, though, has caused me to see that Same Kind of Different as Me is staying with me. There are many, many books that I enjoy and within which I find interesting, stimulating, and moving ideas. Even so, though, details of narratives fade fairly quickly for me and I often wish I had time to reread more books because I think I miss stuff in my hunger to read and find out what happens next. This book, though, even though it is far from a literary masterpiece, has penetrated my consciousness. I find myself thinking about Denver Moore and the hope he inspires for people who are homeless and drug addicted. I think about Ron Hall and how an arrogant, shallow person of privilege can be transformed into a caring advocate for people who are less fortunate than he is. That is the power of relationship and connection. Thanks be to God.

Denver Moore may be illiterate, but he is no dummy. His words brim with pragmatism and spiritual wisdom. In his own unique dialect, he shares his life with us - the good, bad, and REALLY ugly parts. Even though he has lived most of his life on the streets, he maintains that his life is not better AND not worse than Ron and Deborah Hall's - just different. At one point, he is looking at Ron Hall's key chain, the keys to Ron's multiple vehicles, homes, and offices. "Do you own all that stuff or does it own you?" Denver asks Ron. Touche'. Towards the end of the book, he says that we are all "the same kind of different." What everyone needs is to be loved, to be forgiven, and to be made to feel worthwhile. He says in a way, we are all homeless - we are all searching for that home that we can never lose - the home that we find in the presence of our Creator God.

Reverent Reader


At 8/15/09, 10:02 PM , Blogger Saying Grace said...


A parishioner gave this to me and I put off reading for months. So thanks for encouragement to pick it up.


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