A Special Christmas Excerpt from ‘Captured by Love’

A Special Christmas Excerpt from the book, Captured by Love, from the story “God is Our Pilot**” by Ralph & Bobbi Gaither –

“A few days after my first Christmas in captivity I was taken in for interrogation. I had been in handcuffs for several days, and they told me that my handcuffs would be removed if I would give them a biography. I refused, and they kept me in handcuffs. They were always seeking information from us that they could use as propaganda, and we always resisted. I agonized over the decision to tell them the least little thing about myself. I felt I would be betraying my country, my God, my honor, and my fellow prisoners.

“But then I recalled that some of the guys had told them all kinds of wild things, such as that aircraft carriers have wheels so they can drive on dry land, and the North Vietnamese had believed the story. The lower-level soldiers running the prison camps were pretty naive, so I figured a fabricated story would be pretty easy to sell to them.

“So finally, I decided to give them my biography. My father, I said, was a Big Foot Indian who belonged to the Foot-Washing Baptist Church of America. My grandfather was Chief Crock-a-gator who lived in the Happy Hunting Grounds and hunted alligators and mudfish for a living. My wingman, I continued, was Dave Brubeck; my briefing officer was Walter Winchell. The interrogator obviously was pleased with himself. During my three previous months as a prisoner, I had given only the stock regulation answers. Now here I was “spilling my guts.” They still weren’t exactly nice to me, but they sure were proud of making progress.

“My captors removed the handcuffs, and I was especially grateful for many little things that everyone takes for granted. I could go to the bathroom in a normal manner. I could scratch when I itched. I could sleep on my back with my shoulders straight.

“It being the Christmas season I began missing having a Christmas tree. The camp, what little we could see of it, was overgrown with vegetation, but we were not allowed to go anywhere near the growth; we were not allowed to bring a stick even the size of a match into our cells. Outside, we were not even allowed to make a bending motion as though we might pick up something from the ground. Nothing was allowed into our cells, and frequent searches guaranteed the barrenness.

“I prayed. Then one afternoon after washing my dishes, I turned to take the one step back into my cell. I looked down, and on the threshold of my door was a tiny leaf blown by the wind. I picked it up with my toes and carried it inside. The door slammed behind me. I carefully took the leaf from between my toes and looked at it for a long time. I held it to my nose. The perfume of freedom raced up my nostrils and infused my mind with its power.

“I fondled the leaf. It was real. I held it in my hand. God had not forgotten me! I set the leaf on the little ledge by the window. Its greenness stood out in stark contrast to the dull, gray bars. Tears rolled down my cheeks. God had given me a Christmas tree.”


You can read their entire story in the book – go to to purchase your copy, explore more about them as a couple, and more.

**This story was originally told in Ralph Gaither’s book, “With God in a P.O.W. Camp


#Romance #Lovestory #Military #marriagegoals #Resilience #POW50th #VietnamPOW #Courage #Passion #CapturedbyLove #LoveLessons

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