the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

March 24, 2011
By Jageuar GOLD, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Jageuar GOLD, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
16 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Love before Hate

In The Hiding Place Corrie Ten Boom tells her story of her time in the German concentration camps. Instead of the depressing stories you hear about the horror of that place you hear of the faith Corrie and her sister had, uplifting the people around her. Through a miracle she is able to hide the Holy Bible from the guards and every night she read to the other woman in the camp. Corrie Ten Boom’s faith helps her see the bright side of the situation while she was in the concentration camps. Faith gave Corrie the strength to over come her obstacles. Her book teaches you how to deal with death, learn forgiveness and the importance of love

When thinking of death one might look at what the deceased haven’t done instead of what one had done in a life time. Before the war starts Corrie's aunt dies of diabetes, causing major grief in the family. Corrie was in charge every week of doing the test for her aunt. When it came back and was showing her aunt's time was running out her father says ‘“My dear sister in law” father begins gently “there is a joyous journey which each of God’s children sooner or later sets out on. And, Jans, some must go to their Father empty-handed, but you will run to Him with hands full!”(Ten Boom 56)’ Corries father is a very wise man; his every word of wisdom can be used for modern times. He says that people must strive to live up to be more than their potential, even if it means doing small things in life that may seem unimportant. For example, Betsie had died in the concentration camp leaving Corrie hopeless. Corrie is able to see her sister's face one last time before the body was moved, and Betsie looked like she had before the war had started, renewing Corrie’s faith and hope. She said, ‘“…Betsie, how happy you are today! No cold, no hunger, nothing between you and the face of Jesus…” The beauty of Betsie's face sustained me over the next days as I went from one to another of the woman who had loved her, describing to them her peace and joy.”(Ten Boom 231) The simple actions in life that uplift the readers who read the books are mostly Betsie's; her loving kindness for everybody, showing love in a world of hate.

Corrie tells the readers of the book of Betsie's forgiveness of the German soldiers that wish Corrie and her family more than dead simply because they where saving Jews from their very fate. When Corrie and Betsie are being moved from their cells to the concentration camps, on the ride in the bus, Corrie and Betsie are able to talk for the first time in months. To Corrie's surprise, Betsie starts to pray for the German soldiers. Corrie's response is “Betsie began to pray for the Germans, up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loses on Germany .... She prayed for the men who are destroying their home” (Ten Boom 179). If that isn't forgiveness, then people don’t know what forgiveness is. To love thine enemy, in their case, had to be one of the most amazing things Corrie and Betsie did in the camps. What is overlooked is that Corrie had forgiven the man who broke her heart many years ago when he married for money (what his mother wanted) instead of love. “It was a happy thought not a sad one and at the moment when [Corrie]I knew for sure that God had accepted the faltering gift of my emotions made four years ago.”(Ten Boom 65) It’s a sad thought to lose a love one but with him she may have never done the things she did. At times it may not be clear what God has in store for His children, but if people would learn to trust His plan, like Corrie and Betsie, what a happier place this world could be.

To truly love some one is one of the greatest gifts God has given man kind. For love is the exact opposite of hate; love can hurt when it not meet. For every human can almost granted that a few hearts will be broken. Corrie learned at a young age to love. From a caring father whose words can speak into many hearts alike. ‘“Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so 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 we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel…When we can not love the old way human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.”’(Ten Boom 60) Maybe the Germans where so mean is because they killed all the love that was in their hearts, and needed to be taught to love again. But love is hatred when that love ends in death. But by death in the concentration camps can be mercy. Mercy is what Betsie was shown in her final days. Using Gods love and knowledge Corrie puts two and two together. “Love. How did one show it? How could God himself show truth and love at the same time in a world like this? By dying. The answer stood out for me sharper and chillier before that night… (Ten Boom 108)”Death is not all bad when it happens for the right reasons, Gods reason. Men should not play God and decided who lives and dies: but when men do take on that unneeded burden God then has another plan for His children. Corrie’s and Betsie’s job was to bring light unto the hopeless and have the fire of love rekindled in their bosom.

Without love mankind can not learn to deal with death or learn how to forgive. Betsie is a great example of this. From her we can learn how to be better human beings. With out Betsie, Corrie would have gotten lost in the pit of despair called the concentration camps. For the readers of this book will finish it with a small smile not knowing that their lives has been changed because of two girls undying faith in the concentration camps. Please praise Corrie Ten Boom for her uplifting book The Hiding Place and for hope that will stay with her and her readers more than just a life time.

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This article has 1 comment.

readinmommy said...
on Mar. 30 2011 at 8:50 am
This is a beautiful, insightful, well-written review.  Thank you for your profound thoughts, Jageuar!


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