“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” — Corrie ten Boom
This was a quote from “The Hiding Place.” I remember this book growing up since my mother had a copy of it. We were always quite impressed with this woman who was such a pillar of Christianity.
Last night, I was again reminded of how truly amazing she was. The Insp network aired “The Hiding Place” movie, which was released in 1975 by the Billy Graham Association.
Although this is an amazing movie about Christian faith and Christianity, it is very hard to watch. I shed a lot of tears over what happened to ten Boom and her family.
A short synopsis from IMDB (an Internet movie database) states, “Suspected of hiding Jews and caught breaking rationing rules, they (the ten Boom family) are sent to a concentration camp where their Christian faith keeps them from despair and bitterness. Corrie must learn to forgive.”
When I started watching the movie, Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their father Casper and some other family were running a clock shop in Holland. They later started assisting Jews when the Nazis invaded their country. They hid them in a portion of their house and allowed them to live with them.
Then, one day, they got caught. The entire family was kicked out of their house for alleged crimes and their home was boarded up. As they were being driven away, Casper tells the Nazis that if he is allowed to stay in his home to die, he will open it to as many Jews as he can. Needless to say, the soldiers don’t like that comment at all. But, what a powerful thing to say as he was being whisked away with nothing.
This family truly lived and practiced their faith each and every day. This was shown both before and after they were taken away from their home and business. They were then separated for a while. The sisters are eventually reunited and find out their dear father had died. They are subsequently sent to a concentration camp with many other women.
The women were crammed into train cars with almost no possessions and transported for a few days without food or water. They were then crammed into rooms and forced to work without adequate rest, water, food, or medication. Each day, they are given one small portion and one small bowl of soup. They are treated as animals, well worse than any animal should ever be treated.
It is painful to see people being treated like less than a person. No respect or dignity was given to these women who were accused but not convicted of crimes. The hardest thing to realize is that so many people went through this — men, women, and children. And, to realize that this movie was a true story and actually happened to a family makes be tear up just thinking about.
I truly do not and cannot understand hating someone that much. How can you treat another human being so cruelly? It makes no sense to me and I must say I am thankful that it doesn’t. This movie shows so well what happens when evil takes over and the love of God is not present.
And, yet is was present for Corrie and Betsie — despite all they were dealing with, they prayed daily and read their Bible, which they snuck into the camp. I was in awe of being able to still believe in our Lord despite everything. They both realized that He loves us no matter what and is always there to help us through whatever trial we are going through. And, they discuss the fact that He too was beaten and suffered and died on a cross.
Corrie does tell her sister at one point that she hates the Nazis, but she still prays for them. As scripture says, we are to love one another and pray for those who persecute us. These incredibly strong women did just that. What a powerful lesson to learn from them.
If women in that situation can believe that, surely I can do the same. I must say that hearing such an incredible testimony has strengthened my faith and appreciation for all the freedoms that I have.
The fact I have food, water, can read my Bible, and worship as I do are so precious and wonderful and amazing gifts. May I never take them for granted.
I hope that you too can realize how much God loves you and will be there for you no matter what.
Some quotes from the incredible Corrie ten Boom:
- “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,” from “The Hiding Place.”
- “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
- “What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”
- “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”