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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: Nothing Is Worth Having If You Can’t Give It Away
By Lucian Thompson


“Momma, here come the Truexes again. Why do they always show up at dinner time?”

“They’re hungry, son. They don’t have much, so your Dad always invites them to come eat with us. Does that bother you?”

“Well, no Mom, but you know I don’t like Connie. She is smelly and her hair is so ratty, I don’t even like to look at her.”

“Lucian, be ashamed of yourself. Connie can’t help the way she is. She has it a lot harder than we do. Don’t you remember when you had to go outside to the pump to wash up?”

Looking back over the years, I can truly say, “Yes, Momma, I do.”

I also remember a Daddy that would share the little bit he had with those who had even less. I remember the Truexes and many more hungry folks sitting at our table, day after day, eating the ever-present beans and potatoes.

There were drunks and derelicts that Tommy, my Dad, would bring home from the streets where he worked, to feed them and let them share the warmth of our home on those cold winter nights.

There were the other families who lived in our poor neighborhood who would spontaneously show up at dinnertime without any invite, knowing Tommy would not turn them away. Granted, they would only get beans and potatoes with flour biscuits, for that’s all we had, but I can’t ever remember anyone complaining.

I remember an incident involving ole Harrell Martin, our mean next-door neighbor.

Harrell was a monster of a man, in size and attitude. Once, Harrell had pushed my younger brother, injuring him. My Dad, who was born with one hand and had a crushed hip from his youth, resulting in one leg being shorter than the other, jumped in between them. Harrell fought Dad until my older brother and I chased him off with a pick ax.

I remember sitting at the dinner table one evening watching this ole goat sitting on his broke down front porch with his head in his hands. His wife had left him because of his cruelty and the bank was about to repossess his home for lack of payments. He looked like his world had ended.

Without a word, my Dad got up from the table, filled a large plate with beans, fried potatoes, and several biscuits and headed out the door towards Harrell. I held my breath as I saw my Dad approach this massive giant with his only hand outstretched in fellowship and the plate of food cradled in his other arm. I watched as Harrell’s body shook and tears flooded from his eyes. He took Dads hand and held it to his tear stained cheek without saying a word. Dad gave him the food and I heard him say, “ I thought you might be hungry. Come on over if you would like some company.” With that Daddy came back to the table and never said a word about it to us.

Harrell did lose his home and left the area. Many years later he returned in an old RV to visit Dad. They would sit and talk like two old long-lost friends. Yes, I remember that. I will always remember that. Dad did more than feed a hungry man; he made a friend out of an enemy by forgiving and extending his hand.

I learned so much from my humble Dad. He truly exemplified Proverbs 25:21, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.” (NIV)

He had so little, but he shared what he had with those who had even less. He would always say that nothing is worth having if you can’t give it away. It took me a long time to fully understand this saying. Dad wasn’t owned by any possession, nor motivated to acquire them. He used them till he saw someone who needed them more than he did. His joy was complete in sharing, truly his cup overflowed.

How I pray that all of you have a Harrell in your lives or some Truexes with whom to share. That you too, would come to know that nothing is worth having if you can’t give it away.

Isaiah 58:10 says, “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley11/15/04
Another wonderful message that conveys such truth. As Christians, our blessings are not only ours to keep, they are given by God to share. Thanks for the reminder.
Corinne Smelker 11/15/04
Lucian, you make cry, and then chuckle, all within 20 seconds!

This is truly a masterpiece, you have such a rich tapestry of experiences to work from, and you weave such intricate pictures, thank you.
Kathy Cartee11/15/04
I always love your articles.

Your words reach into my heart and remind me of God's love.
great job!
Mitzi Busby11/15/04
Praise God for parents who instilled the love of God in our hearts. What a blessing!
Lynda Lee Schab 11/15/04
No wonder you turned out so well! With an example like your father, you couldn't go wrong! Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece! Your articles always make me smile and go, "hmmm," which is a good thing.
Nice job!
Love, Lynda
DeAnna Brooks11/15/04
There are no words, Lucian. Just an ache in my heart. What a heritage is yours. What a prince in the kingdom. Your dad, he looks like his Father!
Jean Boulmay11/15/04
You have a wonderful way with words that touches me EVERY time! I think you have a reputation for making women cry.
John Hunt11/15/04
Another wonderful, well-written article.
Very nicely done.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/15/04
You remind me how God's best comes out of those who have the least--the power of the widow's mite flowing from a grateful heart. What a blessing to have been raised by these Christian parents! A moving story, Lucian.
Karri Compton11/15/04
Ok, I'm trying to think of a more original word than "WOW". Exceptional writing, again. God bless, Karri
Deborah Anderson11/15/04
Awesome job Lucian. Moved me to tears. I look forward to the day when we're in Heaven. I want to sit around God's campfire and listen to your stories. God bless you.
Verlie Ruhl11/16/04
How skilled your father was at finding a way to bless others with what little he had, and his example is still blessing others through your talented story-telling. How insightful you are to wish Harrells on the rest of us, so we can grow too!
Debbie OConnor11/16/04
So beautiful! How blessed you were in the most important ways. Your writing spreads the blessing of your humble, generous family so beautifully.
Barbara Ann Smith11/17/04
This is a good story. Your Dad is probably receiving more favors from God than he knows what to do with because of his love and care for others. I know, he must have been a great man.
Tesiri Moweta11/18/04
Great! That's why we must seek to satisfy our own hunger, so that we may have something for someone else.
Nice piece! You know you're a great writer.
Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Phyllis Inniss11/18/04
Lucian, your story was touching and a real masterpiece. I look forward to reading more of your articles.
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/18/04
Linda Germain 11/19/04
Rev T.
ONLY Beans and fried potatoes and flour biscuits? Sounds pretty yummy to this ole girl whose gramma cooked the same stuff! Like your dad, she insisted you have to fill a tummy before you can get a spirit to listen. As always, your pen flows with knowledge and wisdom. You are a blessing. ~LG~
Marcell Billinghurst11/20/04
What a powerful testimony, rich in memories of the example set by your Father. A very moving story.Well written An example we all should follow. Keep up the good work. God bless you in your writing and minstry.
Jennifer Solla11/21/04
Your story truly displays the love and the heart of Christ.
I am thankful to have read it. God Bless you!
Al Boyce11/24/04
Brother Lucian,
I've been busy and just got around to reading your wonderful article tonight, of all nights.

Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) we will be opening our home to a dozen or more homeless men and women so we can share a meal, fellowship, some songs.

This is nothing my wife or I could have done even a couple of years ago, and it's almost like we aren't doing it now. It is God in all His majesty, blessing all of us.

I wish you and your dad could be here.

Your brother in Christ
Kay Brown11/27/04
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus! When we all sit down at the marriage supper near the throne, I am going to look for your dad..I have a feeling he will be sitting close to Hosea, Stephen, Ruth, and most assuredly that big mean guy, who was sure to follow him to heaven. Blessings! Kay