Sunday, November 15, 2009
Book Review: The Same Kind of Different As Me
Today I both started and finished a book called The Same Kind of Different As Me. It was an excellent book written by two men. One man was a homeless ex-con who had been living life as a homeless man. His name was Denver Moore The other was a man who grew up in a lower-working class family, and worked his way up to be an international art dealer. His name was Ron Hall. Through the inspiration of Debbie Hall, who was both Ron's wife and a tireless servant at the mission Denver was served by while he was homeless.
Certainly, a love for Debbie Hall bonded these two men together. I believe, however, that the most powerful part of this book is the friendship these two men awkwardly forge, and how their friendship with one another sustains them through difficult times.
What starts for Ron, it seems, as kind of a social experiment and a favor to his wife, ends up being a friendship that supports him, helps him to grow and learn, and transforms him into being a leader and influencer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex's ministry to the homeless.
The friendship between the two men really breaks down walls that the two men had been putting up with others for years. They learn to listen to one another, trust one another, and to make a commitment to being friends with one another over the long haul.
So often, I think, it is difficult for men to find friendships like this. It can be easy for many men (including myself) to think that we are strong enough on our own that we don't need friends, that we are strong enough to stand alone, and that deep, emotionally connected, vulnerable friendships among men are simply unnecessary. Yet,I started to think as I read this book that most men, at some point, hope and long for the deep, trusting, committed kind of friendship that Denver and Ron have.
It is the development of that unlikely and moving friendship that makes this book worth reading, and thoughtfully considering in the future.