Long-time friend John Ashmen, President of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM), put me onto Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Its closing words grabbed me. Denver speaking:
“Even though I’m almost 70 years old, I got a lot of learn to learn. I used to spend a lot of 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 we wasn’t gonna have no kind of 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 world ain’t no final resting place. So in a way, we is all homeless—just working our way toward home.”
The authors tell the story in short, alternating chapters, each telling how they view the same event. Ron is a white, wealthy art dealer; Denver, a black, poverty-ridden homeless vagrant, feared by all. The heroine is Ron’s wife Debbie, a rescue mission volunteer. The theme: love’s power to soften the hardest heart.
Some critics will decry the book’s overt spirituality, but it is a heart-wrenching, compelling read for everyone concerned about the homeless today. The story is true, contemporary. The ministry it reports continues today. A movie version will be released in October.
Ask for Same Kind of Different as Me at your bookstore, or order online. For more information, Google the title.
How I wish I had found a book like this 74 years ago, when I began my three-year stint with the Union Gospel Mission of St. Paul.
Old Grandpa Lloyd