I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Pay It Forward “God’s Car”

“Hello.”

“H..hello.” The voice on the other end of the phone came across hesitant, unsure.

I frowned trying to identify the voice. I knew I’d heard it before… but not that tone.

“Yes, may I help you?”

“This is Jim from…” He identified the auto shop.

Of course I knew Jim. He took care of our cars and those of many of our friends for years. He’d tell us when things were right, and when more repair was a waste of money. He’d always been straight with us, and we trusted him. So why the hesitance in his voice?

He mentioned the car on the lot brought in for a check and new tires. “Is this the right place to call for this car?”

I laughed. Couldn’t help it. “Yes, I said.” Then I explained.

When our children were growing up, finances were a constant struggle. As anyone knows who has raised kids, the older they grow, the more expensive things get from food to school fees and activities.

Part of our difficulties have always been my medical bills due to frequent surgeries to keep me up and walking. Even good insurance pays only so much. Keeping on track meant keeping a tight budget and not spending money we didn’t have. At least we tried.

Because I don’t drive, we actually looked forward to the day when our children were old enough to drive. Since my husband Keith has the car at work with him during the day, I was responsible for finding rides to birthday parties, school and church activities. As they got older, we trusted a few of their older friends to drive.

But our daughter Cassie was turning sixteen, and we really wanted her to have a car. She needed something reliable to get her to and from school, to and from work and to and from church and community activities.

I tried to stretch the budget. It snapped back with a growl. No help there. And, it wasn’t as though our friends had money to spare either. I turned to prayer.

We have close friends whose children are similar in age to ours. In fact, our kids grew up thinking they had two sets of parents. We were very much in and out of each other’s lives. While we lived on opposite ends of town, we attended the same church and even used the same auto shop for our cars.

One day before her birthday, we got a call. “Jessica bought a car,” said Jeff. “We’ve got her old car for Cassie.”

Hope grew and faded. Finances. I gulped. “How much does she want for it?”

Jeff paused. “Probably needs a check and tires.”

“Ok. We can handle that. But… How…”

“We need to make it legal.”

“Of course.”

“How about a dollar?”

“Yes. What?” I must have misheard.

“One dollar to make it legal.”

I sat down with a woosh. “I don’t understand.”

Jeff laughed. I heard Gloria chuckling in the back ground as he explained. “We couldn’t afford a car when Jessica turn sixteen. That’s when friends brought us this car.”

Gloria took the phone. “When they needed a car, someone gave them this car with one proviso–it had to be passed on to someone in need. That’s how they got the car and how they passed it onto us. We’ve started calling it God’s car. No one knows how many have used it.” She paused. “For Cassie’s birthday, we’re giving her God’s car.”

I could scarcely manage a thank you through my tears. As I hung up, I glanced up with a smile.

Jim sounded more confident as I finished my story. “Yes, you have seen the car before,” I told him. “Then it was Geiselman’s car. Cassie’s getting it for her sixteenth birthday.”

He breathed a sigh of relief. “That explains that. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure it’s in good shape.” And he did.

At her party, Jeff and Gloria handed Cassie the keys to her first very own car.

I whispered a quiet, “Thanks God.” I smiled overwhelmed with thankfulness for answered prayer and to special friends in passing on to Cassie the very thing she needed–a car.

© 2015, 2020 Carolyn R Scheidies

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