Prisoners of Hope

“Prisoners of Hope” is a documentary about the torture of 11 Americans taken prisoner during the Vietnamese war, including Senator Jeremiah Denton, Congressman Sam Johnson, and Rear Admiral James Stockdale. At the end of the war when they were released, they boarded the plane taking them home, but sat quietly even as the plane sped down the runway. It was not until the wheels lifted off the ground that they erupted in celebration.

I recalled this documentary recently when thinking back on the preparation Carole and I had made to close on the sale of the 1200 square foot home we own in Atlanta. We had purchased the home almost four years ago after selling a much larger (5000 square foot) home in order to downsize so that we could better follow through on our calling to provide family counseling at no cost to our counselees. We had walked away from that closing with a sizeable check which we invested in the smaller home. Upon moving to North Carolina over a year ago to expand our counseling ministry here, we contracted with a realtor to sell the Atlanta home.

During this time since, the home has not sold and worse its value has dropped while our expenses to keep it up has continued (taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, HOA fees, and a small mortgage), putting a burden on our ability to sustain our ministry here. Last month we received the call that a buyer was interested. He made an offer, we negotiated a bit, then accepted. The process moved nicely until three days before closing when it fell apart because the loan appraisal of our home was about $60K less than the money we have invested in it. So we terminated the contract, not willing to lose that amount of money. We had boarded the plane to freedom, so to speak, but the wheels never lifted off the runway.

On the day of the scheduled closing, instead of signing papers that recovered our investment, I sat in my office reading from the Psalms. I particularly enjoyed

“Delight yourself in the Lord (his provisions), and he will give you the desires of your heart (you will not be disappointed).” – Psalm 37:4

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 10E28