Friday, September 18, 2009

The Hiding Place

I love books like these that uplift my soul and remind me that "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." The Hiding Place is full of practical examples showing how to live when times are tough and you feel that evil is winning and so much more.

Corrie ten Boom was a middle-aged woman who lived with her sister Betsie and father above their watch shop in Haarlem, Holland, when Nazi Germany invaded. They opened their doors to Jews, managing to find homes for some, and keeping others hidden in a secret room in Corrie's own bedroom.

I love this quote from her father when a man feels that Corrie and her family shouldn't be putting themselves at risk with "all this illegal concealment and underground business." Corrie's father holds a baby close and says, "You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family."

Corrie and her entire family were sent to concentration camps. Corrie survived with the help of her sister Betsie, who always reminded her to fix her eyes on Jesus. They managed to smuggle a small Bible and found themselves transformed in a place they thought God had forgotten. There were so many excerpts I read out loud to my family from this book. It is a must read.

I almost put this book down because the first part of the book is about their life before the invasion and there isn't much conflict. The ten Boom family was a happy one. It reminded me of Tolstoy who said, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." It's not that I don't like reading about happy families, because I do, but there just isn't enough tension to keep turning the pages. But Bam! we have invasion and suddenly the tension ramps up and it just doesn't stop. There is no room to breathe. The stakes keep getting higher and higher and higher. I knew how this story ended, yet I couldn't put down this book.

I hope you will pick up this book to read. There is also a movie, if you prefer. Haven't seen it yet.



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C.R. Evers said...

I read this when I was a kid. I really should go back and reread it.

Great post!

Vijaya said...

Thanks. I think this is a book I will return to many times.

Mary Witzl said...

I have read excerpts of Corrie Ten Boom's book and they always make me cry. I can't get over the unselfish goodness of her family or her ability to forgive the people who caused her family so much pain. I find myself wondering just how I would cope in such a situation -- if I would have such a forgiving heart.

Vijaya said...

Mary, some people's goodness is astounding. You feel like you are in the presence of a saint.

Interestingly, it was learning about the Holocaust that made me lose my faith. I wish I'd known about this book then ... it would've saved me 20 years of grief.

Mary Witzl said...

One of my favorite stories about the Holocaust is about two old men in a concentration camp. One is astounded to see the other kneeling in prayer, thanking God over and over. He asks his friend what in the world he is doing and the friend answers, "Thanking God that I am not like the people who have created this hell." That really says it all for me. Horrors like the Holocaust could shake anyone's faith. The fact that people live through them and still retain their faith is a real tribute to the power of the human spirit.

Vijaya said...

What we can do with God inside our hearts! Defeat evil.