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Authors: Ron Hall

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Same Kind of Different As Me

BOOK: Same Kind of Different As Me
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Praise for
Same Kind of Different as Me

This book is more than a memoir—it captures the presence of the only spirit that can transform the problems facing our society. When one person sets aside their own needs and misconceptions then steps purposefully and prayerfully into the life of another, miracles happen. Both lives are improved and the world gets a glimpse of real live grace. I am grateful to Ron and Denver for sharing their story and pray it will continue inspiring people to invest themselves in the simple, personal solutions that can change our world.

—The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor of Texas

Prepare to be inspired and changed as you read this tapestry of two men’s lives stitched together by the power of God’s love. Ron Hall and Denver Moore invite you to walk with them on their journey of growth, pain and joy. One man’s story of worldly success, the other of complete poverty, brought together through the vision and perseverance of a Godly woman. Their story is a message for us all to reach out beyond ourselves and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

—Karol Ladd
Author of
The Power of a Positive Woman

In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Same Kind of Different as Me
is the story of the faith, hope and love of one woman, Deborah Hall. Her faith in God, her hope for a better world, and her undying love forever changed the lives of two men: her husband Ron, a wealthy international art dealer, and Denver Moore, a homeless man for whom living on the streets was “a step up in life.”

Telling the story in their own words, Ron Hall and Denver Moore regularly alternate between warming and wrenching your heartstrings. The unique two-author style and the open and candid way in which these men write add up to an engaging, emotional and life-changing experience.

Same Kind of Different as Me
opened my eyes in a new way to a problem that remains largely out-of-sight, out-of-mind all across our nation. As Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, where much of this story takes place, my resolve to address homelessness strengthened dramatically as a result of this book. Ron Hall and Denver Moore deserve tremendous credit for raising awareness in such a compelling way.

An important read for anyone with a heart for his or her fellow man,
Same Kind of
Different as Me
is truly a work for the ages.

—Mike Moncrief
Mayor, City of Fort Worth

Same Kind Of Different As Me
is a compelling story of tragedy, triumph, perseverance, dedication, faith, and the resilience of the human spirit. Deborah Hall’s story is one of fierce dedication to helping others through the teachings of the Lord. Her passing left an enormous void in the lives of all who knew and loved her. Through her ministry to the homeless, her spirit touched the hearts of thousands of people. During this time period in her life, Deborah brought together the souls of two men from opposite ends of society. Their spirits have now touched a multitude of people all over the world. As these two men prayed, both together and separately during Deborah’s last few months on earth, they formed an unimaginable bond. They tell their stories of dealing with the devastation of Deborah’s illness and ultimate passing. These two remarkable men have dedicated the proceeds of this book to carry on Deborah’s vision of helping the Lord’s most unfortunate children. This is a must read. You can’t put it down. Ron and Denver, you truly are my heroes.

—Red Steagall
Texas Poet Laureate

The most inspirational and emotionally gripping story of faith, fortitude, and friendship I have ever read. A powerful example of the healing, restorative power of forgiveness and the transformational, life changing power of unconditional love. Many talk about it, a few live it. The people in this story unquestionably do. Ron, Denver, and Debbie sincerely, humbly and unabashedly share their story, warts and all, leaving any reader permanently changed. From modern day slavery, still in existence today, to infidelity, to the miraculous, supernatural interventions of GOD and his Angels, this amazingly TRUE story reminds us of the limitless power of love.

—Mark Clayman
Executive Producer for the Academy award–nominated
The Pursuit of Happyness

Denver Moore and Ron Hall’s story is one that moved me to tears. The friendship that forms between these two men at a time when both were in great need is an inspiration to all of us to be more compassionate to everyone we come in contact with. This is truly a wonderful book!

—Mrs. Barbara Bush

Same Kind of Different As Me
was a blessing to read. Ron and Debbie Hall took me on their journey of becoming the earthly hands and feet of Jesus. On their way, they found a true friendship in Denver Moore that only God could have brought together. Moreover, the servant-hearted, humble volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission were an exhortation for me to truly live what I believe. I laughed and I cried, and I praised God for real life, walking-around examples of what it means to "love them like Jesus."

—Melodee DeVevo
Casting Crowns

same kind
of different
as me

© 2006 by Ron Hall.

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotation in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Author is represented by the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc. titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected] Although this is a work of nonfiction, some of the names have been changed.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available.


Printed in the United States of America

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Well—a poor Lazarus poor as I
When he died he had a home on high . . .
The rich man died and lived so well
When he died he had a home in hell . . .
You better get a home in that Rock, don’t you see?



Miss Debbie, I’d never spoke to no white woman before. Just answered a few questions, maybe—it wadn’t really
. And to me, even that was mighty risky since the last time I was fool enough to open my mouth to a white woman, I wound up half-dead and nearly blind.

I was maybe fifteen, sixteen years old, walkin down the red dirt road that passed by the front of the cotton plantation where I lived in Red River Parish, Louisiana. The plantation was big and flat, like a whole lotta farms put together with a bayou snakin all through it. Cypress trees squatted like spiders in the water, which was the color of pale green apples. There was a lotta different fields on that spread, maybe a hundred, two hundred acres each, lined off with hardwood trees, mostly pecans.

Wadn’t too many trees right by the road, though, so when I was walkin that day on my way back from my auntie’s house—she was my grandma’s sister on my daddy’s side—I was right out in the open. Purty soon, I seen this white lady standin by her car, a blue Ford, ’bout a 1950, ’51 model, somethin like that. She was standin there in her hat and her skirt, like maybe she’d been to town. Looked to me like she was tryin to figure out how to fix a flat tire. So I stopped.

“You need some help, ma’am?”

“Yes, thank you,” she said, lookin purty grateful to tell you the truth. “I really do.”

I asked her did she have a jack, she said she did, and that was all we said.

Well, ’bout the time I got the tire fixed, here come three white boys ridin outta the woods on bay horses. They’d been huntin, I think, and they come trottin up and didn’t see me ’cause they was in the road and I was ducked down fixin the tire on the other side of the car. Red dust from the horses’ tracks floated up over me. First, I got still, thinkin I’d wait for em to go on by. Then I decided I didn’t want em to think I was hidin, so I started to stand up. Right then, one of em asked the white lady did she need any help.

“I reckon not!” a redheaded fella with big teeth said when he spotted me. “She’s got a
helpin her!”

Another one, dark-haired and kinda weasel-lookin, put one hand on his saddle horn and pushed back his hat with the other. “Boy, what you doin’ botherin this nice lady?”

He wadn’t nothin but a boy hisself, maybe eighteen, nineteen years old. I didn’t say nothin, just looked at him.

“What you lookin’ at, boy?” he said and spat in the dirt.

The other two just laughed. The white lady didn’t say nothin, just looked down at her shoes. ’Cept for the horses chufflin, things got quiet. Like the yella spell before a cyclone. Then the boy closest to me slung a grass rope around my neck, like he was ropin a calf. He jerked it tight, cut-tin my breath. The noose poked into my neck like burrs, and fear crawled up through my legs into my belly.

I caught a look at all three of them boys, and I remember thinkin none of em was much older’n me. But their eyes was flat and mean.

“We gon’ teach you a lesson about botherin white ladies,” said the one holdin the rope. That was the last thing them boys said to me.

I don’t like to talk much ’bout what happened next, ‘cause I ain’t lookin for no pity party. That’s just how things was in Louisiana in those days. Mississippi, too, I reckon, since a coupla years later, folks started tellin the story about a young colored fella named Emmett Till who got beat till you couldn’t tell who he was no more. He’d whistled at a white woman, and some other good ole boys—seemed like them woods was full of em—didn’t like that one iota. They beat that boy till one a’ his eyeballs fell out, then tied a cotton-gin fan around his neck and throwed him off a bridge into the Tallahatchie River. Folks says if you was to walk across that bridge today, you could still hear that drowned young man cryin out from the water.

There was lots of Emmett Tills, only most of em didn’t make the news. Folks says the bayou in Red River Parish is full to its pea-green brim with the splintery bones of colored folks that white men done fed to the gators for covetin their women, or maybe just lookin cross-eyed. Wadn’t like it happened ever day. But the chance of it, the threat of it, hung over the cot-ton fields like a ghost.

I worked them fields for nearly thirty years, like a slave, even though slavery had supposably ended when my grandma was just a girl. I had a shack I didn’t own, two pairs a’ overalls I got on credit, a hog, and a outhouse. I worked them fields, plantin and plowin and pickin and givin all the cotton to the Man that owned the land, all without no paycheck. I didn’t even know what a paycheck was.

BOOK: Same Kind of Different As Me
4.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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