HIS ADVICE: “Don’t hide under an umbrella!”

I’m pleased to introduce to you, Alex from Romania.  He came to Chicago about 30 years ago, when his native country was under communist rule.  And because of this fact, he tells me that even with all the problems that the United States has it’s still the best place to live by far.  “I really appreciate my freedom,” he says.

For about 25 years he was employed by the Salvation Army, as the assistant to their ministry officers’ team.  He told me that he really enjoyed sharing his faith during those years, particularly in nursing homes.  

“And how would describe your relationship with God now?”  I asked.  

“Oh, I feel him every day,” he said.  “He guides me all the time, and I’m still serving him on a daily basis.  Sometimes I run into some of my old friends from the Salvation Army, and we just give each other a big hug.

Our conversation then turned towards his thoughts on God’s provision.  “You know, God wants to shower his blessings down on us, but many times we kind of hide under an umbrella,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.  

“Oh, really,” I reacted, not quite sure what he was getting at.  “Could you explain a little more just what you mean by that?”

“Sure,” he said. “You see, many times we simply refuse to prepare for the blessings. We refuse to be thankful during our “hard times, and so we’re not ready or appreciative of the good things he does send our way.”  

At this time in his life (the past five years) Alex told me that he’s going through a lot of physical health issues including brain surgery, kidney transplant, strokes, and blood clotting.  Still, he tells me this with a smile on his face.  

I’ve just  learned to accept my life however it goes,” he says.  “I’ve just learned not to get discouraged, and to surround myself with positive things… and to get away from the negative things and people in life.”

Although I had noticed Alex before at our soup kitchen and pantry, I had never sat down to talk with him like this.  There was just something “special” about how God had brought us together on a recent Sat. afternoon.  And I told him that I was so blessed just getting to hear his story, and him allowing me to share it with my readers.  (Indeed, I was so blessed that I had nervouslyextended my out-stretched my hand to him a few times during our conversation.)  

Alex just smiled and shook my hand a final time and said, “Yeah, I never expected to talk with you todayeither… and shake your hand four times!”    

Thanks for stopping by.  Chris.