Do you know the song lyrics, “What if God were one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home?” It’s from a beautiful song by Joan Osborne (that incidentally comes with a dynamite video. See link below).
I hear that song in my head sometimes when I’m riding the bus, especially when I see someone who looks “strange”. Such was the case when I boarded not long ago and was faced with a grizzled, gaunt, dark character at dawn. At first glance, I thought, Junkie! Then I chastised myself for the knee jerk reaction (after all I’m a flaming liberal now right?). I shook my head and sat down and thank God, the only seat was a couple away from Mr. Tall, Dark and Scary.
On closer inspection, I could see he was wearing fashionable clothes and was clean. His shaking was probably due to something horrible like Parkinson’s Disease, and he could not even speak it seemed.
This was found to be true when I shared a Little Debbie’s with him. He looked at me but couldn’t really say “thanks”. Funny, I don’t usually travel with pastry in my purse (honest!). But, I happened to have these two little coffee cakes that day. And, I couldn’t possibly eat one in front of the guy, right? Besides, making amends feels so good. I handed him the Little Debbie’s. His soft old hand took it without hesitation. He tried to smile, but his features were frozen. I smiled anyway. Then, we sat quietly and ate our treat before heading on our separate ways. Just another day on the way to the office.
I keep looking for those little pastries, but can’t find them. They must go fast. I just never see them any more. But, if I do, you can bet I’ll be looking for someone who just might be “a slob like one of us” or a stranger on the bus. God.
PS Best part of this story? My coworker sharing the exact same little cake set with me at work the following week. Now, THAT’S what I call a super sweet synchronicity, with crumbles on top!