It’s definitely a true story of how Love conquers all.
Same Kind Of Different As Me.
When I first heard of this book back in 2008, I thought it was definitely an odd-sounding name for a title. However, after having read it, I realized it was definitely a “keeper” and well worth the read.
Thus, when I heard it’d been made into a movie, I knew I wanted to see it. So, this past weekend I went to see it and, like the book, it’s a movie that’s worth every penny of your admission. So, here’s hoping you’ll go see it soon; or, you may want to wait until it comes out on DVD.
“What’s it about?” you may ask.
Well, it’s about a black man born in the middle of the 20th century in Red River Parish, Louisiana. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to read it— because I also lived in that same parish for 8 ½ years.
Born on a cotton plantation, Denver’s mother died while he was still young. And, he never knew his father; so, he and a brother were raised by their grandmother, who was tragically killed in a house fire.
Even though slavery had been outlawed for almost 100 years, Denver still worked as a sharecropper laborer for another man. Later on, he ran away from the plantation, hopped on a boxcar headed for Shreveport. But, while there he tried to rob a city bus at gunpoint and spent the next 10 years at Angola State Prison— the bloodiest prison in the U.S. at that time.
After his release, he became a drifter, filled with rage and bitterness. But, it was at the Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County— a Fort Worth homeless shelter— where he met Ron Hall, a multi-millionaire art dealer and his wife, Debbie. Even though quite leery of white folks at first, it was Debbie’s deep love for him through Christ that broke down those inward barriers. And, ultimately, God used him to also bring renewed faith and hope to Ron.
Prior to their encounter, Ron was quite successful. Even though Debbie was pursuing spiritual matters, Ron was pursuing wealth. Soon their relationship became quite strained and Ron ended up having an affair with another woman. But, instead of divorcing him, Debbie forgave him and convinced him to volunteer with her at the homeless shelter.
I won’t tell you anything more about the book or the movie, but (again) I encourage you to read the one and see the other. It’s more than a “feel good” movie; it’s a beautiful depiction of how True Love wins in the end. It also shows how Christ’s Love heals our deepest hurts, enabling us to overcome bitterness.
After reading the book, I called the Union Gospel Mission to see if I could talk with Denver. And, after talking with the one who answered the phone— which happened to be his sister— Denver called me and we were able to talk for about 20 minutes.
Needless to say, his book— which really was co-authored by Ron Hall— made a deep impression upon me. It shows how God could use an illiterate, homeless drifter and ex-con to impact those so different from him. But, it took someone like Debbie Hall to make the first move in reaching out to him to help him let go of the past and realize he was worthwhile in God’s sight.
Dear Reader, True Love liberates, not enslaves. It doesn’t judge others based on their color or background. Because it’s rooted in Christ and His Love for us, it helps us realize we’re all the same in His Sight. And, it shows how hate and prejudice can be overcome by His Mercy and Grace.
So, again, here’s hoping you’ll go see the movie. You might even want to take a handkerchief or a few tissues because the tears are hard to keep back as you watch it. I also pray the Lord will use it to help change your heart the same way Ron, Debbie Hall and Denver were changed by Him. God bless you.
NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.