Monday, May 2, 2011

The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom

Synopsis from Corrie Ten Boom stood naked with her older sister Betsie, watching a concentration camp matron beating a prisoner."Oh, the poor woman," Corrie cried."Yes. May God forgive her," Betsie replied. And, once again, Corrie realized that it was for the souls of the brutal Nazi guards that her sister prayed.

Here is a book aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it. A story of Christ's message and the courageous woman who listened and lived to pass it along -- with joy and triumph!

The Hiding Place has been my most recent read in Holocaust literature. And how refreshing it has been. Yes, the book deals with some of the atrocities of the Holocaust – the imprisonment, the invasions, the deaths. However, this book is different from the others I’ve read. For in this book there is also hope. And there is love. Love for your fellow human being. Hope from God. And it gives me hope for my life. I have faced nothing as dreadful as a prison or an extermination camp. I have never slept with fleas or been so surrounded by death and despair. However, in the midst of those things – even in the depths of dehumanization – God was there. His grace. His love. His mercy. People clung to Him. Sought Him. And He was found. On this earth and in the world to come. And therein lies the hope for me: God is forever with me, even in this.

I appreciated Mr. ten Boom’s explanation to Corrie’s hard question as a child. He responded that some knowledge is too heavy for children to carry. When they are older and stronger, they can bear to carry it. But for now they should trust their parent to carry it for them. The same is true for our heavenly father. I might not have all the answers – all the whys and wherefores for what happens in this world. But God does. And I need to trust Him with that knowledge until he sees fit to entrust me with it.

I appreciated how when Corrie ten Boom turned things over to God, she left them there in His more than capable hands.

Another scene stuck in my mind moment was when Mr. ten Boom was offered his freedom if he would just behave himself. Mr. ten Boom’s profound response was simply: “If I stay behind, I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help.”

This book was real and courageous. Corrie was not perfect and felt anger and dread. And she lets us see all of that – her most human sides. Yet continues to point us back to a God who is bigger than it all.

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