Have you ever been financially desperate? Have you ever wondered how you were going to pay the gas bill? How many ways you can serve rice and beans? Find a winter coat for your son who grew 3 full sizes taller over the summer?
Think back for a moment to that time? What emotions did you experience? Fear? Sadness? Determination? Desperation?
I remember feeling that way about the time our 15 year old son needed a car. My mind raced with questions: how can we afford another car? What can we sell? How can I make a few more bucks a year?
I felt so desperate I gave plasma... once.
It was a stressful time for us and so I could fully appreciate this 2010, ABC news story I recently read:
“A struggling family facing foreclosure has stumbled upon what is considered to be the Holy Grail of comic books in their basement...
A copy of Action Comics No. 1, the first in which Superman ever appeared, was discovered as they went about the painful task of packing up a home that had been in the family since at least the 1950s.
‘The bank was about ready to foreclose,’ said Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of ComicConnect.com and Metropolis Comics and Collectibles in New York. ‘Literally, this family was in tears. The family home was going to be lost and they’re devastated. They can’t figure out a way out of this. They start packing things up. They go into the basement and start sifting through boxes – trying to find packing boxes – and they stumble on eight or nine comic books.’
Most of the comic books in the box were worth between $10 and $30 but one – dated June 1938 and depicting the Man of Steel lifting a car above his head – was extremely rare. That issue, which originally sold for 10 cents, is considered to have ushered in the age of the superhero.
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‘It’s a tremendous piece of American pop culture history,’ Zurzolo said.
The couple learned online that ComicConnect.com had brokered the record-breaking sales of Action No. 1 copies for $1 million in February and then $1.5 million one month later. They immediately texted a cell phone picture to the firm’s co-owner, Stephen Fishler.
‘You couldn’t have asked for a happier ending,’ Zurzolo said. ‘Superman saved the day.’”
This family knew unrelenting despair and delirious joy in less than a week’s time.
The measure of a joyful experience is the distance between the before and after. If this family had already been millionaires when they found the comic book they would have been excited and maybe thrown a party to celebrate.
However, when this family, penniless and distraught, discovered this treasure? The elation, the sense of gratitude and relief and joy was life altering. They went from foreclosure to fortune.
With Thanksgiving in our review we now look forward to what is to come. A joy greater, a love deeper: Advent. This season leading up to Christmas reminds us that there was a time mankind was estranged from God and that in our sinfulness we were desperate for hope, for a new beginning.
And then the babe, wrinkled up, pink faced, vulnerable tiny boy was born with the promise to change our future forever. We were no longer condemned to live in the brokenness of our hate or addiction or fear. Instead, Jesus came into this world, that God loved so much, to turn our lives upside down.
It is no wonder the angels announced on the night he was born, “There is good news of great joy!”
Truly, we couldn’t have had a happier ending.
Jesus saved the day.
Larry and Linda Kloster sponsor this column.