“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3
We remember people for so many different reasons. We remember those who show us grace when we do not deserve it, those who call us out when we do deserve it, and those who have shown us random acts of kindness. I have a running list of those to whom I am grateful, and it is more like a scroll than a list.
Mr. Hoyt Williamson – I am grateful for Hoyt Williamson. I only met him once. It was September of 1987 and I was 20 years old. My mother passed away about a year prior and I was living in a one-bedroom apartment working two jobs, attending college classes in the evening, and I was financially challenged...in laymen’s terms, I was broke! My car was on its last “leg” (or should I say, “wheel’) and I knew I needed reliable transportation to get to work and to class.
Each morning, I left for work at 5:00 a.m. for my first job. About thirty days before I met Mr. Williamson, the electrical system on my car battery would not charge. My neighbor who left for work around the same time as I was always willing to give my battery a “jumpstart” so that I could get to work. For that 30-day window, this kind person would wait in his car to make sure mine would start and we would both go our separate ways.
After about a month, I realized I could no longer rely on the kindness of this awesome neighbor. I found a car dealership not far from where I lived - Hayes Chrysler Dealership. This place of business remains today. I drove up to the front building and parked my car. As soon as I removed the key, smoke literally started seeping from underneath the hood. It was in this very embarrassing moment when I met Mr. Hoyt Williamson. He approached my vehicle and noticed my complete humiliation. He was kind and compassionate and acted as though everything was perfectly normal.
Mr. Williamson asked for a mechanic to come and check my car out so we would know its trade-in value. Then, he walked me to a brand-new car with a mileage of about 100 miles. We both knew I could not afford a new car so in my usual “let’s just state the obvious” manner, I went ahead and let him know I could not afford a newer model. Yet, by the time the dealership closed that evening I was driving away in a brand-new car. It was a 4-door “Sundance.” Not exactly something any of my peers would want …or even drive. However, that evening when I was driving home, I felt safe.
At the end of the day I asked him how my car had any value and how he worked it all out. He told me not to worry about the details. He said he did for me what he would do for family. He also said that the Lord had been good to him and he tried to pass on the blessings whenever he could. Mr. Williamson extended the love, grace, and mercy of God to me through a car sale. More than that, he offered me hope and security in a world that, for me, had been turned upside down.
For over eight months, we have been living in a world that has sometimes felt upside down. However, in the midst, I imagine God has used people in your life to show you unexpected and undeserved kindness. As we near Thanksgiving, we often call to mind those to whom we are grateful. I only spent six hours with Mr. Hoyt Williamson, but he has left an eternal impression on my heart. Not because he found a way to get me a car, but because he found a way to teach me to “pass on God’s blessings.”
During this season of advent and giving thanks, I pray you will call to mind the many blessings God has bestowed on your life through others and find a way to pass them on.
I am blessed by you!
Much love, Betsy