I just finished this book. Oh my. This one was difficult to put down. I read it after my friend Elizabeth told me it was one of the best books she had ever read. Then my friend Ray told me that he was rearranging his schedule one day so that he could hear the authors of this book speak. (They were speaking at a university in the city where he lives.)
I began reading the book. The more I read, the more difficult it was to put down. My friends were right. The book is very, very moving.
The book, Same Kind of Different as Me, was written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. The subtitle of the book: "a modern-day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together." The book is a story of deep friendship, faith, and redemption. It is the story of two men who learned to see one another as human beings in the most unlikely friendship.
Ron and Deborah Hall had volunteered to serve in the shelter of the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission. There they came in contact with Denver Moore, "…A street bum who refused to sleep inside or talk to anyone at the shelter. An angry, dangerous loner who frightened everyone he came in contact with."
The following comes from the dust jacket of the book:
His name was Denver Moore. And this is his story, told in his own voice. It’s the tale of a man who grew up in virtual slavery, picking cotton for "the man" as late as the 1960s. A man who never attended a day of school, never was paid for his years of back-breaking labor, who saw surviving on the streets as a step up in life. And never dreamed he’d be friends with an SUV-driving Starbucks-sipping white man.
This is Ron Hall’s story too, told in his voice as well. An upscale art broker with an eye for a masterpiece and a nose for a deal, he’d shot like a rocket from selling soup to selling Picassos and Van Goghs. At home in Hollywood haciendas, Soho galleries, and European castles, he never expected the next chapter of his life would be written in an inner-city homeless shelter. Or that a street person’s fierce loyalty and uncanny spiritual insight would carry him through the most painful time of his life.
And of course it is Debbie Hall’s story — a gutsy woman of deep conviction. It was her compassion and persistence that brought them together, her vision that transformed an inner city and eventually brought hope to thousands.