Gift of family car becomes a lifesaver
Upon my father's passing, my brother and sister and I were left with several assets we neither needed nor desired to keep. One of which was my father's 10-year-old Lincoln. Not a scratch on it, with nice leather seats and all the bells and whistles.
We determined it was worth around a thousand dollars and we would split the sale three ways.
The car went back and forth between my brother and I as we tried to find a buyer. After two months, I called my brother and told him I had a buyer that really needed the car. What I had on my heart was my Sunday school teacher and his family; a lovely country family with very little income.
Don was a huge man about 6-foot-8 and 350 pounds, with a wife almost as tall. Their two children, Hannah and Josh, took after them, and when they would load up in the Ford Escort, loaned to them by the pastor, it was like watching one of those little circus cars with one after another clown come squeezing in and out.
My wife and I called them on the phone and I offered to sell them the car for a thousand dollars. They were most excited. Don said he would talk it over with his wife and give me a call back. Two hours went by and the phone rang. A disappointed voice said, "My wife and I have gone over our finances and we just don't have enough money to buy the car, but we really appreciate you two thinking of us."
As I hung up the phone, my wife looked at me for an answer.
"They can't afford it," I said, then added, "I have a really strong feeling this car must go to them. How about we sell them the car for a dollar?"
"Do what ever the Lord's telling you, dear," my wife said.
I wrote my brother and sister a check for two thirds of the value and called the family back and announced "How 'bout a dollar!"
Don's bearded smiling face coming up the driveway with a dollar bill waving in his hand was all I needed for a picture in my mind to last forever.
Hannah, fascinated with the built-in child's seat, claimed it as hers. The family was ecstatic that they could ride in luxury without their heads touching the ceiling. My wife and I were thrilled to be able to bless our beloved friends. Don gave the Lord all the glory and told everyone he received a car for a dollar.
The following Wednesday, Hannah loaded the trunk with the armor of God - a church project of cardboard cut-outs covered with aluminum foil, including a shield, a sword, breastplate and helmet. We waited at church for brother Don and his family to arrive, but they never came.
As they headed for church, a company welding truck T-boned them on the highway and flipped the car several times. Hannah sitting in the middle back with her brother on the right was spared the crushing blow and the whole family walked away without a scratch. The car was totaled. The highway patrolman said if they had been in a smaller car, they most likely would not have survived.
The company at fault gave Don and his wife brand-new cars.
The following Sunday my Sunday school teacher had only one thing to say, "Trust in the Lord, continue to listen to what he says."
Wayne Bryden recently moved from Tulsa, Okla., to Charleston, where he works for American Eagle Health Insurance Company. He and his wife have six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.