Tag Archives: same kind of different as me

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.

monday morning update, march 16, 2009

the weekend that was: my weekend was mostly re-entry from a week out. i’d been up at forest home camp, NE of LA, all week. the second half of that week was a personal silent retreat, which went through early saturday morning. that morning, i drove back to san diego, straight to my church, where i was part of a parent training morning. our junior high pastor (christina) and high school pastor (brian) talked about what they’re trying to accomplish in the youth ministries, then i talked about adolescence and youth culture from a macro level. i was followed by our church’s teaching pastor (who also happened to be my boss 20 years ago at a church in omaha!), who talked specifically about parenting teenagers. it was a great morning, and i really enjoyed it; but it was a weird way to come off three days of total silence!

saturday afternoon, jeannie and i had a wonderful time of getting caught up and talking about life. one of the things i decided on my silent retreat is that i’ve been watching too much tv lately. the stress of my season was been a little bit of a perfect storm when combined with a television season with so many shows i like to watch. but i’ve been escaping a bit too much. and, with “kings” just starting — which looks like a show i’m going to add to my intake — i’m making a tough choice (for me, it’s tough) to cut four 1-hour shows:
celebrity apprentice
amazing race
hell’s kitchen

i’ve enjoyed all of these, so this is hard; but i think it’s best for me, and certainly better for my marriage and family. in full disclosure, the shows i’m still recording are:
american idol (which we watch as a family)
lost (which, like 24, jeannie and i both watch)
heroes (which i watch with liesl)
the office and 30 rock

saturday night, jeannie and max and i went over to our friends’, joe and beth slevcove, primarily so max could spend some time with their brand new son, akian (the russian word for “ocean”), because they’ve asked max to be akian’s “god brother”. max is taking this all very seriously, and it’s really wonderful to watch.

sunday morning was church, then a few do-dads around the house; followed by a nice catch-up with my friend, john. in the evening, all four of us (me, jeannie, max and liesl) were back at beth and joe slevcove’s for the baby shower for akian. really nice time.

where i am at the moment: at my desk, at ys, in san diego. good to be here.

on my to-do list this week: full week, but no travel. it feels a little bit stressful, though, as i have a lot of things coming to a head right now.

procrastinating about: well, taxes (like i said). i realized i missed a magazine column deadline last week, so i gotsta get that done. i have more revisions coming for the middle school ministry book, and i know i could be working on those now (but i’m waiting for someone to tell me i have to do them, which certainly qualifies as procrastination!).

book i’m in the midst of: woo-hoo! i finished 5 books since last week:
the know it all
are you there, vodka? it’s me chelsea
deep church
the world is flat
same kind of different as me

and i almost finished losing my faculties: a teacher’s story (which is a great non-fiction piece by brendan halpin). not sure what i’ll read next.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: really didn’t listen to anything this week!

next trip: a week from today i fly to grand rapids for a 24 hour trip to zondervan. but, otherwise, nothing major ’til my spring break trip with my daughter to paris, in a few weeks!

how i’m feeling about this week: hmm. not sure. lots on my plate, which feels a bit weighty. but i’m glad to be here all week.