A Cleveland family is featured in one of the “Unselfish” stories in the book “Unselfish,” compiled by Pul D. Parkinson. Written and submitted by DeWayne Hamby, the story is titled “A …
A Cleveland family is featured in one of the “Unselfish” stories in the book “Unselfish,” compiled by Pul D. Parkinson. Written and submitted by DeWayne Hamby, the story is titled “A Charitable Deed in a Time of Need” (Page 102).
He begins with the statement, “There are few things more irritating than a broken down vehicle. Car trouble is something most people don’t think about until it happens, and suddenty they’re thrown into asking for rides, calling tow trucks, and losing independence.”
Hamby said a few years ago, around the time he and his wife welcomed twins into the family, her car finally died. Months before, he said, the mechanic had made quick fixes on the motor, but had “told us it had more problems than we would probably want to tackle. He even suggested we sell it for scrap metal.”
Instead of scrapping the old car, the Hambys decided to give it to DeWayne’s elderly mother, who was homebound and lived in a very small town, thinking perhaps one of her friends would fix it out of sympathy. In the meantime, because of medical bills and other costs associated with a growing family, the Hambys wished for another car, but did not have the resources to purchase one. They said they reasoned his wife would probably not need to get out much in a second car with three children under the age of 3. “But that creative planning would not suit our needs forever,” Hamby wrote.
As the time grew closer for their older daughter to begin preschool, they knew a second car would be a necessity to drop her off and pick her up. But they could not afford two car payments. So the Hambys prayed for a solution while they looked through classified ads in the newspaper and gathered information from local dealers.
“Through the years,” he said, “I’ve heard of audacious gifts that people have received that even included cars. In the back of my mind, I secretly prayed and hoped that would happen to us, but I was never bold enough to really believe it. Even with a schedule-rocking problem such as car trouble, it doesn’t take long to see there are needs around you that are much greater than yours, and you can start feeling intimidated.”
But one day, a friend called. “We want to give you this van,” he told him. Hamby said it didn’t really register and asked, “Did I hear that right? He and his wife want to give us their van. What did we do? How did they know?”
Still in shock, he made his way over to meet the friend and benefactor. His friend gave him the rundown on how the vehicle worked, where it had been serviced recently and about the brand new tires he had purchased for it. “And then he handed me the keys and the title,” Hamby said. “I half expected the van to not crank — not because of distrust, but because of disbelief. This just seemed too good to be true, But it wasn’t.”
The Hambys said they were blown away by this act of selflessness, but also humbled. Hamby said he struggled to think of a way to return their generosity, “but I know that wasn’t what they wanted, at least not from us.” He knew them as people of faith, who believed in giving more than receiving. And, he said, “Even though they asked me to not share their names, they know their kind gesture has not gone unnoticed by the Highest Authority.”
His story concludes with the Scripture: “But when you do your charitable deeds, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deeds may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:3-4, Modern English Version).
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