Student Casey Fischer grabbed her daily cup of coffee from the Dunkin Donuts near her college campus in New Hampshire, when she noticed what a filthy man was doing nearby. She decided to bless the homeless stranger with a hot meal that morning, but after handing him the food, she later received a wadded up note with a message that left her in disbelief.
In a Facebook post about the incident, Fischer said she went to her regular morning stop, which she frequents nearly every day, but this particular morning was much different from the rest. She saw a man by himself, who appeared to be picking things up off the ground, but she couldn’t tell exactly what his purpose was until she looked a little closer.
To her heartbreak, she realized that he was gathering any dropped change he could find and putting it in his pocket. In that moment, she decided to not just get her coffee that morning, but pick up a hot meal for him too, since he could clearly use it. When she brought him a cup of coffee and bagel, she got much more in return.
Setting aside where she needed to be that busy morning, she sat down next to this needy man, who was all alone. Over the breakfast she provided him, he opened up about his life story and how he ended up where he was. “He told me a lot about how people are usually very mean to him because he’s homeless, how drugs turned him into the person he hated, he lost his mom to cancer, he never knew his dad and he just wants to be someone his mom would be proud of,” Casey said in her post about their conversation that soon took an unexpected turn.
The caring college woman said that her new homeless friend told her his name was Chris. She had gotten to know about his circumstances, but there was something else he didn’t have the heart to tell her, until the two were about to part ways. Even then, he couldn’t say it in person, so he quickly jotted it down on a crumpled piece of paper and stuck it in her hand before he walked away. After Casey and Chris had said their goodbyes, she opened up the note and was alarmed at what it said, but she was relieved by what her simple act of kindness did that day.
“I wanted to kill myself today because of u I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person,” Chris wrote. With that, Casey was left with a full heart for a perfect stranger who she diverted from death, because her heart was in the right place at the right time, when her path crossed with his.
Her inspirational post has since been shared over 160,000 times, touching countless lives. But the most important person it helped was Chris, who had given up on life, thinking he had nobody and nothing more to live for, until Casey came along and showed him the grace and love he so desperately needed.
If completely changing the course of a person’s life takes just a brief moment and a simple act, imagine the difference each one of us can make by keeping our eyes and hearts open to other people’s needs. Sometimes, all it takes is eye contact and a smile or, in this case, a cup of coffee and small conversation.