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We were preparing the third edition of my book Beyond Illusions for publication when I received a call from my editor. “Brad,” Tom said excitedly. “I just gave a couple bucks to a fellow sitting on the sidewalk asking for handouts. Brad, he’s got a handwritten sign that reads, ‘Anything is a Blessing.’ How cool is that? That’s precisely the point we make in your book.”
Now clearly the man meant that any contribution, no matter how small, anything at all, would be a blessing. He obviously didn’t mean that being down on your luck – especially being homeless – is a blessing; but is it – or could it be?
This man who had apparently been humbled by life to the point of begging was more right than he realized.
Anything is a blessing – anything at all – illness, accident, injury, bad luck – even homelessness – is a blessing, or could be, depending on how we look at it, respond to it, learn from it, and grow from it. (It is said of Christopher Reeves that “Superman” accomplished more in this world after his paralyzing accident than he ever did before.)
Okay, maybe you don’t want to call that really tough situation you are in right now a blessing. I understand. I probably wouldn’t call it a blessing either. How about calling it a challenge? Maybe a test? Hey, how about calling it an opportunity? That works for me; after all, what are opportunities if they aren’t blessings?
The point is, most anything could be, in fact, a blessing – depending on your perception and your perspective.
On second thought, maybe I do that homeless fellow a disservice. Maybe he meant exactly what he said, “Anything is a Blessing.” He was alive. He knew that humanity cared enough to help him out. Even with all the suspicion and distrust directed at beggars and strangers, he knew that there were enough people out there who would take care of him.
Maybe he really didn’t need their money at all.
Maybe he wasn’t homeless.
Maybe he was a messenger.