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The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

40 Inspirational Classics for Lent

Miss Cornelia Arnolda Johanna Ten Boom was a middle-aged Dutch watchmaker and repairer when World War II brought the ethical dilemma of the twentieth century to her doorstep, “What shall we do in response to the Nazi persecution and genocide of the Jews?” Corrie and her family hid Jewish refugees in their home and were subsequently arrested. Corrie and her sister Betsie were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp where Corrie learned the lesson that she was later to share with the world: “there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.”

The Hiding Place tells the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family as they hid Jews in their home in Amsterdam and of their imprisonment in the German concentration camp, Ravensbruck. After the war was over, Corrie Ten Boom, already in her fifties, travelled the world for the next three decades, telling people about her experiences in Ravensbrueck and even more importantly about God’s provision during that time of suffering. She also wrote several books in addition to The Hiding Place, and in 1975 a movie was made also called The Hiding Place and featuring Julie Harris, Eileen Heckart, Arthur O’Connell, and Jeannette Clift in her Golden Globe nominated role as Corrie ten Boom.

Here’s just a taste of the wisdom embedded in “Tante Corrie’s” autobiographical story, a book I strongly suggest you read with an open heart and mind if you never have:

How long I lay on my bed sobbing for the one love of my life I do not know. I was afraid of what father would say. Afraid he would say, “There’ll be someone else soon,” and that forever afterwards this untruth would lie between us. “Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. God loves Karel, even more than you do, and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old human way, God can give us the perfect way.”

I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this; places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all. My task just then was to give up my feeling for Karel without giving up the joy and wonder that had grown with it. And so, that very hour, I whispered a prayer, “Lord, I give to You the way I feel about Karel, my thoughts about our future, everything! Give me Your way of seeing Karel instead. Help me to love him that way. That much.”
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“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
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“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
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“God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours – so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things….In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.”
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“You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”

You can read more about Corrie ten Boom here.

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