What if God was One of Us? (guest post by Shirley A.)

When I first met Shirley she was a client at the homeless shelter where I worked. A first nation’s woman who was adopted into a non-native family as an infant, she once told me she didn’t know where she fit in. Recently she wrote in an email to me, White God… or Native… what ever… Louise I am not of either… I am a child of God.. .and you can believe what you want… all I know is God is Love…. .all I know is and feel is love… and for me that is reading loving things, but so often I put that down as I don’t quite accept it…It has nothing to do with White, Native… all I know in my heart is there is a God…. Louise I have talked with those brothers on the street.. we have come to a conclusion…we are of God…you know why…it’s because God spends extra time with us…That Homeless man or women don’t you think they prayed… and felt and seen God…it’s more an inner feeling…I have always had this spirit in me…. I get so messed up…I am not Native nor white…but I do LOVE GOD… and you can’t take that from me…… sometimes that is all I had.. .yes when I walked the walk God was there.

Shirley is a gifted writer, story-teller, artist. She carries other labels too — recovering addict, formerly homeless. No matter the label, Shirley carries it in her very real, very human way. With dignity. Grace. Beauty. She laughs, jokes (she has a wicked sense of humour) And, she struggles. Just like you and me. Struggling in our human condition. We all have gifts. We struggle to find ourselves, express ourselves, be the selves we know, deep within our souls, we are born to be. We struggle to let go of self-defeating behaviours. To drop burdens and sorrows and tears. We struggle and in our struggle we sometimes fall. And in our falls, we discover the depth of our strength and courage.

I am grateful for Shirley’s light on my path.

Here’s a story on making a difference from Shirley which she has given me permission to share here. Thank you Shirley

What If God Was One of Us? 

By Shirley A.

Yesterday went to eat at McDonalds…While eating a group of Natives which I know you would know came in and ordered a meal for the 4 of them.  Something in my heart was tugging me telling me I was to buy them each a hamburger…..I thought I needed this money in case…but the tugging became stronger….It told me to buy them each a burger….

I thought then with what little they had was what they were to share….amongst themselves…I knew I had to do what my heart was telling me….so I bought 4 burgers…even with the thought of I don’t have enough money for me…….I walked up to them with burgers in hand and gave them the burgers….

You know….those smiles and thankfulness in their eyes does bring tears to one’s eyes…..but better yet I did what my heart told me to do….as hard as it was to let go of my own wants and worries of money.  Then I headed off to work……I work in a warehouse…so I had my backpack and hood on…..A man approached me and said to me….”could I offer to buy you a meal”  I said no thanks…

He said I looked like I needed a little uplifting…..He then asked if he could say a prayer for me….I said Yes…..His prayer was short and simple and of no attention grabber to the rest of the world.

You know I think God was tugging at my heart and then made it known to me through a prayer from a stranger….

So yes kind of out there as a homeless person….once again reminding me… miracles happen….God does hang also with the homeless out there….So my time as a homeless person has not been in vain…..but I now am able to see it clearer now…

At work I felt so alive, awake…and yes, able to breathe….which I haven’t felt for a very long time in my life…I am telling you this because those miracles happened on a daily basis as a homeless person.

I was reminded of what homelessness can be of….The sharing of what little one has….and that, one is taken care of….and that God does love each one of those out there…and He does hold them close……

The smallest miracle turns into a pure feeling of ………….within the heart…reminds me of the song…”What if God was one of us?” by ? Osborne…..makes one think…

15 thoughts on “What if God was One of Us? (guest post by Shirley A.)”

  1. Thank you, Shirley. You are inspirational to me, and I suspect, many others. Your random act of kindness, your spirituality and your awareness are uplifting. You have made a difference in my life today.


  2. Thanks for another inspirational post, Louise… and thanks to Shirley for sharing her generosity both with her friends and with us. No doubt you’re aware, Louise, of the tendency for charitable giving to be proportionally higher among low income earners than high income earners. I read an article that explained that this may be because of a difference in empathy caused by personal experience: lower income earners have more contact with the poor, while wealthy people are more insulated from the poor. Yet studies have shown that the empathy of the wealthy increases when they have more exposure to those less fortunate. Perhaps instead of berating the majority of the wealthy for selfishness, we need to give them regular walking tours through the lives of others who don’t live like them. (Here’s the link to that article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22FOB-wwln-t.html )


    1. been pondering this comment…well my adopted parents are well off..they moved to Seattle with a home and all….My parents taught me…give what you can….doesn’t have to mean money…a smile goes a mile or two more then money…being brought up with love is so much more then money…I think rather then those that are wealthy in material worldly things……we should love them too……doesn’t matter….we are here on this earth to love one another….and I love the Golden Rule…do you know what it is..thanks for you


      1. I’m with you, Shirley: a smile goes a long way… and costs nothing. When I can, I try to take the Golden Rule a step further, and not only treat others the way I would like to be treated – but to find out the way they want to be treated and treat them that way. Sometimes the way I want to be treated is very different. Thank you for sharing from the heart.


    1. Maureen I may make a difference,,,,but do you follow suit…follow your heart..Thanks for giving me a spark within


  3. Beautiful post! Shirley’s understanding of what God is, and of listening to God’s voice within us would put many of us to shame. Shirley has it right, God bless her! Time and time again I’ve seen those who have so little, share what little they have. We can learn from that! We are intended to be caretakers of the earth and of each other.


    1. Pondering why bless me…why not bless yourself for your open heart….so many in this messed up world doesn’t hear….I thank you…I am one single person doing what is right or feels right in my heart…hey just let it go for one moment…and you too will understand…so thanks


  4. What a beautiful story to read this morning. Thank you Shirley for putting gospel into practice, reminding us that we are each God’s children, called to bear one another’s burdens. I will gratefully share your story with my family this evening. Your story has made a difference in our lives today!



    1. czbz wow I forgot….my adopted mom use to read us uplifting material too….so figure its been passed on…some how to you and your family…I so miss my adopted Mom…her love her spirit and her eargerness to move me and you…and I see now its being passed on to you and your family….I thank you for sharing with your evening time…this made me cry…why????????because it stays in the heart…and yes God is Love


    1. We can’t serve others till we serve ourselves…..its much deeper..within…..I am learning this…thankis for you


  5. I really enjoyed this post and thank you Shirley for being willing to share your story here, because that takes a different kind of courage. God is love, and when you gave those hamburgers to those men, you gave Him a face, a skin. Many thanks girlfriend!


  6. Why can’t we all have courage…step out of our comfort zone…our needs wants…and just see…would you feel so sorry for a bird that could not fly? yes of course…….me I am learning to flap…God made the bird as he made me…as said when I gave those burgers…what if God was one of us……..strange….but listen and feel…God is Love….My hwart was blessed ten fold…and thanks for you Girlfriend


  7. Dear Shirley,

    I read your post on Louise’s blog. Thanks for sharing it with me, it really touched me! I believe in a higher power, but I don’t always call it God, but I feel that someone is watching us, and not in a creepy way, but in a loving way.

    I realize that we haven’t seen or heard from each other in awhile. I think back on those Salvation Army days sometimes and I think about how emotional I was, figuring out what homelessness meant to me and seeing my heart react the way it did. What a gift to have met you! What a rollercoaster ride of a relationship! There was love and pain, and definitely some open and exposed hearts. I think about how relationships change, and how we all grow and fade away…

    I think about what I’m doing in Vancouver. The youth I work with keep me young and curious about life and how we live it, either by choice or by circumstance. Either way, there is a person under it all. These young people’s hearts have gone through a bumpy ride, like dribbling a basketball within a rib cage. Some people break, while others look towards the next ball that comes their way. I don’t know why I am compelled to share this with you Shirley, but I’m in a reflective state. I love my job, mainly because I get to work with youth the best way I know how – by just being nice. Sometimes I wish I were more of a bitch so that I didn’t have to work so hard, but I really enjoy what I get paid to do! I’ve never had that before… and for this long!

    I found Louise’s writing quite powerful too. The way she describes you is full of love and humbleness, and all truth!! Man, that Shirley she talks about, wow what a lady!! I found it interesting how you said yes to a prayer over some food… like it was a basic necessity at the time, and maybe it is! I’ve heard how god has impacted people’s lives and their paths toward sobriety, but I’ve never felt God the way you write about Him. Remember I don’t always call him God, or desire to talk to him, but I know that there is something/someone out there looking out for us, whether we know it or accept it.

    One of the youth I was working with recently brought up how “everything happens for a reason.” I remember those words coming out of your mouth, and how much I still believe it to this day. Sometimes I take life for granted, but never my memories.

    Thanks for being a part of my life Shirley and for sharing your gifts.



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