The Gift of Charity The Pure Love of Christ
A True Story of Love and Sacrifice
The following is a true story that was related to me by my father. It reflects an example of love and service seldom seen. Even though several years have passed since the incident occured, my father still has a vivid memory of the kindness and love shown to he and his sister. This is a true love story. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Hamilton, who ever you may be.
"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 25
A Courious Delivery
It was just about dusk when they arrived; two large boxes from Sears Roebuck & Company. It must be a mistake, thought Bern and Bob, as they eyed the deliveryman with curiosity. Their mother, Pauline, stopped hanging the clothes on the line to question the UPS man as to who had sent the mystery boxes. He didn't know, he argued, but he had the right address, he was sure they belonged here, and he was not about to take them back. It seemed strange that he had come directly to the back house entering from the Fairview Street entrance. It was almost as if he had been given exact instructions as to the location of the delivery to be made. Pauline cautiously signed for the boxes. He unloaded the goods and he left as quickly as he had arrived.
Bern and Bob were accustomed to strange packages being left at their house. It seemed that their little "garage-like" home on Pine Street was the perfect spot for lots of mysterious visitors. Their father and both of their grandfathers had built the little house themselves. Consequently, the style of architecture was of the most rudimentary in fashion. It had a flat roof that leaked every time it rained. It consisted of just four rooms, two of them were bedrooms. One bedroom was for their mom and dad, and the other one was for both of them and their sister Margie to share. The third room was a tiny bathroom with a shower. The fourth room was the center of activity and was the main long room. This room consisted of a living room, dining room, and kitchen all combined into one. Most of the daily activity was transacted in that room.
Being in such cramped quarters, with not much privacy, these strange packages were just kept in plain sight. They mysteriously arrived in the night while the children were asleep. They contained cartons of "Lucky Strike" cigarettes, one hundred pound bags of sugar, and once one of them even had a fully automatic sub machine gun in it. These were all the kinds of things Sammy brought.
Sammy was an M.P. in the army and had free access to the commissary. There was a war going on, and rationing was in full swing. You needed ration stamps for everything. The children would watch as Pauline would put cardboard in the bottoms of her shoes to patch the holes so that she could save her ration stamps for them because they needed shoes far worse than she did. Stamps were needed for all kinds of items, meat, gasoline, cigarettes, and sugar. Having one hundred-pound bags of sugar at your house was unheard of. Cartons of cigarettes were worth their weight in gold.
In the middle of the night Sammy would come and deliver these strange packages to the house. The children were sworn to secrecy. Even when they were tempted to boast to the pals in the neighborhood of the gun resting comfortably against the kitchen wall, the threat of going to jail, that was pounded into their heads, stopped them in silence. Their mother soon put her foot down and the gun was gone. Their father figured that there couldn't be any harm in simply storing the loot for Sammy, after all, he got his cigarettes and Pauline got a little sugar, while Sammy sold off the goods and everyone was happy.
A Gift From Heaven
But, somehow these boxes were different. Their father didn't even know where these boxes came from. Addressed solely to Bern and Bob, being somewhat dazed, they tore into them revealing their contents. Inside they each found a beautiful brand new bicycle, Bob's was red and Bern's was blue, with all the shiny bright newness to dazzle their eyes. They were so happy; it was like a gift from heaven.
Who could have sent these bikes? That was the question. Their father was instantly baffled, and went directly to the phone and called his sister Kay, thinking she might have bought them for the children. The children knew it wasn't Kay. Kay was in a position financially to do it but she just wasn't the sort of aunt that would have thought of them.
"H--- no,we didn't buy those for them. You say they came from Sears? Well, I'll go in to Sears tomorrow and I will find out who bought those bikes!" Kay responded.
Aunt Kay was the manager of a fur shop that was located right next to Sears. Evidently she had decided to take it upon herself to make sure and find the culprit who sent the mysterious gifts. So, she marched into Sears and demanded to know who had purchased the gift. She was so annoyed with the clerk at Sears for not revealing the giver of the gift that she boldly stated that she would not accept the bikes. They told her it was to late, that she already had them, and they would not take them back. Furthermore, she would never find out who purchased the bikes because the person wished to remain anonymous.
Secret Acts of Love
"Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father, which is in Heaven. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly."
Nobody could find out who sent the bikes, but the children knew.
- Matthew 6
The New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 6.
Pine Street Kids
Mr. Hamilton's View
It was a usual day on Pine Street; all the neighborhood children were out riding their bicycles up and down the street having fun and enjoying each other as children should. Mr. Hamilton was personally involved in the real estate business himself so he had decided to sell his property on his own and had driven by his lot on several occasions to keep his eye on the place. This was just another one of those days for him, one of his usual days. However, this day was different, today he noticed two children just sitting. There was a boy and a girl, sitting on the curb just watching the other children riding their bikes. There they were, just sitting, right across the street from his property, just sitting and watching.
He pulled his car to the side of the curb and parked and watched. He called the children over to his car and invited them to sit down and talk. After talking to them for a while he realized that they weren't riding bicycles because they didn't have bicycles.
"If you'll chop down some weeds on my property for me, you could earn yourself ten dollars or so", was the proposition he gave to the children seated on the curb.
They eagerly accepted and he watched them as they worked hard, in his mind he tried to figure out what their ages were. They couldn't be more than eight or ten he thought. He paid them the ten dollars, and he left.
A couple of weeks had passed, and Mr. Hamilton remembered he needed to check on that property on Pine Street. As the thought of the property came to his mind the two children rushed back into his memory. Pulling up to the address, he noticed they still sat and watched.
"Have you earned enough money for a bike yet?" he inquired.
Before he had asked the question he knew what the answer would be. Even if these two children worked with all their might, they would never earn what it would take to purchase their sought after dream.
One can only guess, by what Mr. Hamilton did next, that he must have remembered someone who did the same thing for him. For this man took up the challenge that was given when He said, "Come follow me." He followed the example given by one who knew that Mr. Hamilton would never have enough to pay his own debt, and thereby, willingly made up the difference for him.
Be Even As I Am
The Living Christ
- The Living Christ
The testimony of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.