same kind of different as me

samekindofdifferentSame Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent

here’s another book that had been on my “to read” pile for a few years. tic long, my co-worker at ys, had told me so many times how much he enjoyed it, that i’d lost track of how i’d gotten it. i’d assumed i’d either ordered it through amazon, or that the publisher had sent it to me. so when i brought it along on a recent silent retreat, i was suprised to find a beautiful inscription in the front cover. someone — the signature is not legible! — who had clearly worked on the book (maybe an editor?) referenced a sermon i’d preached at my church, how much the person had enjoyed it, and how much they thought it connected with this book. the inscription was dated april, 2006!

anyhow, i read this book in one sitting. i could not put it down.

if you haven’t read it (i’m sure many of you have), it’s the true (autobiographical) story of two men. the first is a black share cropper from the old south who grew up in a way most of us wouldn’t realize still existed in our lifetimes (really, slavery), and subsequently lived as a homeless man in fort worth, texas. living as a homeless man was a much better life than what he’d previously experienced. the second man is a white man who grew up lower middle class, but rose to be a wealthy art dealer in fort worth. the second guy’s wife plays a key part in the story, as she develops a passion for the homeless that eventually brings the two men together.

told in first person with mostly-alternating chapters by each author, the stories start with their childhoods, adolescence and young adulthood, and begins to weave together as they get to know each other. there’s an element of deep tragedy in the book i hadn’t expected, which brought me to tears (the kind with constricted throat and a bit of gasping for air) more than once. so it’s also a story of grief and healing.

it’s all beautiful. it would be a great book if it were fiction; but the fact that it’s all true makes it better by 100-fold. seriously, if you haven’t read this baby, you gotta. trust me on this one.

2 thoughts on “same kind of different as me”

  1. Yeah, I am a pretty avid follower of your reading lists and I read that one last Summer and thought, man I bet MarkO would love it. I read it after reading The Shack and thought they were somewhat similar but Same Kind was sooo much better.

  2. Marko- Ron Hall is from my neighborhood. We’ve had him to the church too. Everything I’ve heard about him is that he is exactly as he writes. Good to know people still sometimes live what they write.

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