Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom

This book should be a must-read for students in high school or college.  Even if one doesn't hold to Christianity, the stark humanity expressed in the story speaks volumes.  But I'm getting ahead of myself....

If you're unfamiliar with the book, Corrie Ten Boom was a concentration camp survivor of WWII.  She and her family lived in Holland and hid Jews from the SS until they were discovered.  I had read it once before in high school, I believe, as it was a favorite book of my father.  I was excited to read it again for my book club. 

There were SO MANY 'ah-hah' moments in this story, so many times where the message of love being conveyed was tremendously moving.  If I had my own copy I would've marked it up for future reference.  But I didn't.  Also, when you're reading against a deadline and you have four small children sometimes you just have to read without the luxury of basking in received enlightenment. But I will share two moments that stood out for me in particular:

Corrie's sister Betsie said once that no matter how deep our misery is, His love is deeper.

When Corrie was on a speaking engagement after her release and she came face-to-face with one of her former guards.  He thanked her for her message of forgiveness, that even he, too, could be forgiven through the Savior's sacrifice.  Corrie froze.  She didn't know if she could practice the forgiveness she'd been preaching when it came to this man.  She prayed in her heart for forgiveness for him, and when she still felt none she asked the Savior to give her His forgiveness.  Then the thought came to her, that Jesus had already died for the guard's sins, was she going to ask for more?  She shook the guard's hand and electricity surged between the two.  And she forgave him.

So powerful, the impact this woman and her family had on so many.  It was speculated that her family helped save 800 Jews from the camps.  Such a blessed woman, such an incredible tale.

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