Casey Fischer was a busy college student when an encounter with a homeless man brought her to tears.
On her way to Dunkin Donuts one day between classes she spotted a homeless man scouring the ground for loose change. When he came into the storefront, she bought him a coffee and a bagel and struck up a conversation.
At first, the man barely engaged with her, but Casey says in her Facebook post she became “super annoying” and continued to pester him until he joined her in a conversation.
Chris, the man who sat across from her, was homeless partly due to his addiction. He shared how drugs turned him into someone he hated. As they talked, Casey learned Chris never really knew his dad and his mother died from cancer. In the retelling of his story, his voice grew heavy as he shared his longing to be a person of whom his mother would be proud.
Eventually, Casey needed to return to a class schedule, and the hours-long conversation drew to a close. Chris asked for a few more seconds as he grabbed a receipt and a pen. Writing in earnest, he crumpled the old receipt up before he handed it to Casey. Chris smiled shyly, apologized for his poor handwriting, and said goodbye.
Written in shaky, but deliberate letters was a powerful message: “I wanted to kill myself today. Because of u (sic), I now do not. Thank u beautiful person.”
Chris’ life was saved that day by two simple acts of kindness – a meal and a kind conversation. May God bless Casey and Chris, and may He stir us up to see the world the way He does – with compassion and grace.