May 16, 2010Golden glimpses of the sun,Bits of clouds between the bars.
Coughing blood, matted hair,Questions, memories, leaving scars.
Making friends with tiny ants,Spilling crumbs to bring them out.
Crossing days off on the wall,Wondering what this is all about.
Planned by God, even this Yes, and rejoicing still,Corrie ten Boom lying there,Knowing that this is God s will.
Father died no, was releasedTo Canaan s fairer land above.
Jews in hiding did escape,This the outcome of God s love.
Will we sing in trials now,Fight the sin and lonely days Will we bravely others reach,And remember God s holy ways Lord, we ask for strength and grace,Love for others true and strong,Love for You above all else,And to sing Your victory song By far one of the best and most inspirational books I ve ever read I ve underlined so many parts of this book I first read this with my first book club almost 10 years ago and read it back in October with my current book club still find it absolutely amazing and one I want to read and re read One of my favorite themes of the book is stated by the author on page 31 the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do Goes along with my belief that all things will work together for our good Not that only good things will happen to us, but that all things will work for our good Even when our Father takes us, not to the windmill or swans on the canal but somewhere where we don t want to go and we howl and struggle all the way p 40 We can trust in Him that all things will work together for our good Another favorite part is in the example of Betsie, the author s sister, who gives thanks in all circumstances, even for the fleas p 210 Several pages later, the author explains how even the fleas worked together for their good p.
220 Even when we may not always have the whys , we can trust in Him that our experiences are for our good I found it amazing when Nollie is asked by if Annaliese is a Jew and she responds, yes Nollie s perfect honesty requires that she answer yes even when it may mean death for someone who has trusted them Nollie has perfect faith that no suffering will come to Annaliese because Nollie obeyed Him in being honest in all things Miraculously and sure enough, Annaliese is set free As a mother, I have always wondered how the Jewish people hid their children crying babies etc from the Nazis when they were in hiding I found it poignant and sad when the author noted that even the youngest had developed the uncanny silence of small hunted things p 114 Above all, I love this book for its reminder to me of the eternal perspective How true that He can give us His perspective when we feel trapped in the reality of filthy and cramped barracks, His way of seeing people who we cannot understand, His forgiveness for those who have hurt us, His love for those we think we cannot love, and His strength to replace our weaknesses Which leads me to a final favorite quote and life lesson I ve learned When He tells us to love our enemies or any other thing He has asked us to do , He gives, along with the command the love itself p 248.
At One Time Corrie Ten Boom Would Have Laughed At The Idea That There Would Ever Be A Story To Tell For The First Fifty Years Of Her Life Nothing At All Out Of The Ordinary Had Ever Happened To Her She Was An Old Maid Watchmaker Living Contentedly With Her Spinster Sister And Their Elderly Father In The Tiny Dutch House Over Their Shop Their Uneventful Days, As Regulated As Their Own Watches, Revolved Around Their Abiding Love For One Another However, With The Nazi Invasion And Occupation Of Holland, A Story Did Ensue Corrie Ten Boom And Her Family Became Leaders In The Dutch Underground, Hiding Jewish People In Their Home In A Specially Built Room And Aiding Their Escape From The Nazis For Their Help, All But Corrie Found Death In A Concentration Camp The Hiding Place Is Their Story Most people have started 2018 with parties and fireworks I ve started it by finishing a five star book I ve read The Hiding Place a few times before but not in recent years With so many Christian friends on Goodreads, it is the book that I see most often on people s favourite shelf During this re read I was reminded that it deserves to be there.
Most of you will know the story Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie are the unmarried daughters of Casper, a Christian watchmaker in Holland during the early 1900 s They could be running a successful and profitable business but, as Christians, are prone to charity and acts of kindness leaving them comfortable but not well off The scene is set by the author, Corrie, and a picture of a happy family life emerges The everyday details and the author s humour are what make the book, indeed she is a marvellous story teller and none of it is in any way monotonous.
During the Nazi occupation in the late 1930 s, the ten Boom family adapt their business to harbour Jewish refugees as they become involved in the underground movement of the period Corrie, in particular, devotes her time and attention to caring for and helping these persecuted people and takes great risks in the process.
Eventually, their happy family life, which had gradually been eroded by events on the horizon, is shattered as the entire family are captured and led off to Germany Corrie and her sister Betsie end up in Ravensbruck, a notorious concentration camp Here, Corrie faces up to her spiritual weakness as her physical body suffers Selfishness took on a life of its ownOh this was the great ply of Satan in that kingdom of his To display such blatant evil that one could almost believe that one s own secret sins didn t matter.
I came to Paul s account of his thorn in the fleshthe real sin lay in thinking that any power to help and transform came from me Of course it was not my wholeness, but Christ s that made the difference.
The breakthrough comes when Corrie, following the example of her never wavering sister who even praises God for the fleas, realises that all is not in vain and life has a purpose again But as the rest of the world grew stranger, one thing became increasingly clear And that was the reason the two of us were here Why others should suffer we were not shown As for us, from morning until lights out, whenever we were not in ranks for roll call, our Bible was the center of an ever widening circle of help and hope Like waifs clustered round a blazing fire, we gathered about it, holding out our hearts to it warmth and light The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and beautiful burned the word of God Who shall separate us from the love of Christ Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or swordNay, in all these things we are than conquerors through him that loved us.
What an incredible picture of true faith in the face of such hardness and suffering Anyone going through trials will benefit from this book Likewise those seeking to be content in all circumstances and to rejoice in the Lord always The Hiding Place is clean there is no swearing or blasphemy, there is no sexual content, there are some graphic scenes relating to the treatment of prisoners and the suffering in the concentration camp These are relayed factually without embellishment or sensationalism.
An incredible testimony of a family completely sold out for God whatever the cost.
Two stars That s the best I can do on a book that came highly recommended and that I read with relish as I had just been to Amsterdam and surrounding areas, visited the Museum of the Resistance and the old Jewish Synagogue referred to in the book So why two stars I just didn t believe a lot of what I read Here s what I do believe I think Corrie, her sister Betsy, her father and other family members were courageous, passionate, religious, pro active and bold They did what many in Holland did, but what many chose not to do They put their lives on the line to help with a very unpopular cause They risked their necks to hide jews, feed them, comfort them and resist the authority of their German invaders In that I find them commendable The father figure was an admirable man, a man of principle who lived truly an exemplary life and imparted his teachings to not only his family, but all who surrounded him A man of peace, but of strong determination A man of immensely strong faith which he passed along to his children So far, so good So what s my squabble The book was written a full 25 years after the facts, and I think it shows Corrie was in her late 70 s when the book was written, and it was written by two people who weren t there The narrative at times becomes too convenient, too sugar coated There were no fights amongst the throngs of people living in the beje I think the old saying that time heals everything clearly applies to this book, as it seems to be a bit whitewashed in the veil of faith in Jesus to solve all, in prayers that constantly come through and in the miracle of the never ending vitamins Call me a sceptic, but I found the constant references to Jesus annoying I most certainly think we all believe in God when in the trenches, but I don t believe in the Santa Claus God who gave to Corrie, but perhaps withheld from others who were praying just as hard It came across as preachy and childish all these years later So many people were hurt, humiliated, beaten, and brutally murdered and I am sure just about each and every one of them prayed to their Jesus as well.
To end on a positive note the faith that this family had, the true faith in doing the right thing is admirable when Corrie wrote released in her jail cell to signify the death of blank , she showed a deep and profound faith in that death is not the end, only a fresh start in a better place Her fortitude and strength were truly remarkable.
I have read this book before many years ago.
, but reading about it here on Goodreads reminded me how much I had been absorbed and overwhelmed by the courage and utter dedication of this young woman the author and I valued it highly Although Corrie is a deeply commited Christian you don t have be of any particular religion to read and appreciate this book She risked everything including her life during World War II to save as many Jews as possible from the Nazi regime in Holland She and her older sister Betsie lived through terrifying times to achieve this and endured starvation, torture and humiliation when captured by the Gestapo The first half of the book is about her daily life as the daughter of a man widely acclaimed as a watch and clock maker and repairer and a member of a loving family The second part is all about how they devote their lives to the rescue of Jews from the enemy Corrie and her sister have a powerful faith in God and the story is inspiring but heartrending This book is for me a classic and supremely special whatever your beliefs might be or not be.
I read this book in honor of my mother The Hiding Place was one of her favorite books I remember her telling stories about it and reading passages aloud when I was a kid The Hiding Place is the story of a Dutch family who helped Jews hide from Nazis during World War II Corrie worked in her father s watchmaking shop and used the store as a front to help with underground activities A secret room was built in the family s home that allowed Jews to hide when German agents visited the house Eventually, Corrie and her family were arrested and sent to prison, and later to a concentration camp Throughout the ordeal, Corrie relied on her Christian beliefs to give her hope and strength.
After finishing the book, I can understand why my mother was so captivated by Corrie s story My mom was also strong in her Christian faith, and she had a longtime fascination with World War II, always trying to understand how such a tragedy could have happened I am not a true believer, but I can appreciate why The Hiding Place was so meaningful to my mother It is a powerful story of love and family and faith, and reading about Good triumphing over Evil should be comforting However, reading this book in 2018 was quite disturbing, especially with reports of immigrant children being arrested and held in cages, and the continuing problems of racism, white nationalism, violence and war Perhaps if I had read this book before Trump took office I wouldn t have been so upset by it But that s the slyness about books they ll surprise you, catch you at odd moments and show you connections you didn t expect I wish my mother was still here so we could discuss this book We could talk about the news, and try to understand why such tragedies are happening again.
Okay, so the many five stars all around on this here book page were warranted It s a heartbreaking, painful read It s also full of faith, strength, kindness and perseverance I m very glad I gave it a listen The narrator is terrific and emotive and has the ability to draw you into the time and place instead of taking you out of it Corrie ten Boom is a 40 something spinster at peace with her quiet life She is a watchmaker in her father s shop and lives with her older sister and their kind father She never expected to become embroiled in an underground revolution but when German soldiers invade her homeland and friends and neighbors start to disappear because they are Jewish or lending Jewish families safe harbor, she can t stand by and do nothing As conditions become increasingly worse for the unfortunate people in her beloved town, she decides to put her life in danger in order to save those of others Her family has a hidden room built and they take in the desperate Eventually she is imprisoned, along with most of her family She recounts the long, grueling days of hellish conditions in prison and in concentration camps The sickness, the starvation and the everyday cruelties inflicted I m not religious but these characters are and they walk with a strong belief and unwavering for the most part faith and a gratitude for everything, even ants and fleas, yet I never felt preached at Their faith makes up a big part of who they were and how they managed to make it through the inhumane conditions If you read this account, it will leave a mark on you for certain It s not a book I will easily forget.
If you consider reading this book, be warned When John and Elizabeth Sherrill wrote the memoir of Corrie ten Boom, they clearly had an agenda The first half of the book was okay That s the reason I gave it 2 and not 1 star The second half, set during the war years and Corrie s imprisonment in Ravensbruck, was all about worshipping God and Jesus, praying, miracles and prophecies Even for all the cruelties that happened, there was a higher divine plan At some point, In Ravensbruck, they were thanking god for being naked in front of SS guards because Jesus was naked on his cross too And they thanked god for the fleas and the lice, so the guards wouldn t enter the barracks and they could read the bible and worship god Obviously they were ignorant of the diseases caused by the vermin There was also a miraculous, never ending bottle of vitamins, that allegedly was smuggled into the camp by Corrie, together with her bible The authors made saints of Corrie and her sister Betsie, instead of writing a believable memoir And in the appendix to the book, you can put this book to work in your own life I can only recommend this to deeply devout people This is not a biography, it s a hagiography There are over 7.
000 reviews of this book and I have never seen that much 5 star ratings But only a handful of reviewers understood the ultimate purpose of the book it s rather insulting to the millions of Jews and others who died that fervent prayer to Jesus is all that was necessary to avoid death made me feel the tone was rather subtly supremist Just one of many examples of how this book turns a story about World War II into a platform for evangelical tripe The unspoken theme is that they were saved because they were Christian, unlike the Jews This is definitely the Disney version of WWII Its problem is that throughout it pushes religion Honestly, when an author expects me, as a reader, to actually believe that any religious doctrine is the truth I feel like my intelligence is being insulted and it is downright offensive it seems to be a bit whitewashed in the veil of faith in Jesus to solve all, in prayers that constantly come through and in the miracle of the never ending vitamins Call me a sceptic, but I found the constant references to Jesus annoying.
And please don t say, ANOTHER Holocaust book I hate it when people say that As far as I m concerned, I ll be terrified the day we STOP writing them.
FAVORITE QUOTES Corrie 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 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, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way It is wrong to base faith upon wishes There will be war The Germans will attack and we will fall Oh, my dears, I am sorry for all Dutchmen now who do not know the power of God For we will be beaten But He will not Father held the baby close, his white beard brushed its cheek, looking into the little face with eyes as blue and innocent as the baby s own At last he looked up at the pastor You say we could lose our lives for this child I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family There are no ifs in God s Kingdom His timing is perfect His will is our hiding place Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will Don t let me go mad by poking about outside it MY FAVORITE STORY One dark morning when ice was forming a halo around each street lamp, a feeble minded girl two rows ahead of us suddenly soiled herself A guard rushed at her, swinging her thick leather crop while the girl shrieked in pain and terror It was always terrible when one of these innocent ones was beaten Still she continued to whip her I was grateful when the screaming girl at last lay still on the cinder street Betsie, I whispered when the guard was far enough away, what can we do for these people Afterward I mean Can t we make a home for them and care for them and love them Corrie, I pray every day that we will be allowed to do this To show them that love is greater And it wasn t until I was gathering twigs later in the morning that I realized that I had been thinking of the feeble minded, and Betsie of their persecutors.