In the mid-90s, Joan Osborne released a hit song called “What If God Was One of Us.” It was a top 40 hit and nominated for three Grammy awards.
The song and music video pushed listeners to change their world view. With lyrics like, “What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus, tryin’ to make his way home.”
Or what if that stranger was a homeless man you saw on the street? And how you viewed or treated them could result in something life-changing?
That’s exactly what happened to a young woman named Casey Fischer.
Fischer said she was at Dunkin’ Donuts when she saw a homeless man on the side of the road picking up change. He eventually went inside and started to count his money.
She started talking to the man, much to his annoyance. She noticed he only had about $1 in change in his hand, so she decided to buy him a coffee and bagel out of her own pocket.
In doing so, she asked the man to sit down with her. He obliged.
Fischer found out during their time at Dunkin’ that the man’s name was Chris. He talked about how people were usually cruel to him “because he was homeless.”
He also confessed, Fischer said, that drugs had “turned him into the person he hated.” Even after his mother’s death to cancer, he ultimately just wanted to be a “person she could be proud of.”
Fischer said the two of them chatted for well over an hour before she realized she needed to get back to class. That’s when he told her to wait.
Chris wrote something on a crumpled up receipt before the two of them parted ways. When he handed it to her, he apologized for his “shaky hand writing,” then smiled before walking out.
When she opened the note, that’s when she realized what had just happened was something much greater than just a bagel and coffee. Something greater than a friendly conversation.
“I wanted to kill myself today,” the note read. “Because of u I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person.”
What if God was one of us? Or what if God was working through us, leading us to someone to save?
Would you listen?
I’m certainly going to look at the world with new eyes now. A small gesture can change a person’s life — or save it.
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