Hello, Friends, has anyone of you read The Hiding Place? It’s about the life of Corrie Ten Boom by Elizabeth & John Sherrill. Before a priest posted something about her some years ago, I had never even heard of her. Then, I read the book, The Hiding Place. I can only say that it’s a pity that the Catholic Church only canonize Catholics, at least for now. I feel that Corrie, and perhaps more so, her sister, Betsie, would deserve a saintly recognition.
A few things about this amazing woman
- Corrie ten Boom was born in Haarlem, Netherlands on April 15, 1892. Wouldn’t you know it? She passed from this life on the exact say day ninety-one years later in 1983.
- The Ten Boom family operated a watchmaker’s shop. Corrie was the first woman to be a licensed watchmaker in Holland.
- When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, Corrie decided to help the refugees. Later, the family even built a secret room behind her bedroom to hide the Jews or anyone in the resistance movement.
- Sadly, an informant betrayed them. The whole family was arrested along with many of the people hiding in the house. The father was sent to Scheveningen prison and soon died. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, went to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Betsie never made it out alive. She died on December 16, 1944. Soon afterwards, Corrie was miraculously released from prison.
- During their time in captivity, Corrie and Betsie held worship services in the barracks with the other women. No matter their faith tradition, they would listen to the Word of God. Corrie writes, “A single meeting might include a recital of the Magnifacat in Latin by a group on Roman Catholics, a whispered hymn by some Lutherans, and a sotto-voce chant by Eastern Orthodox women. With each moment, the crowd around us would swell… At last either Betsie or I would open the Bible. Because only the Hollanders could understand the Dutch text, we would translate aloud in German. And then we would hear the life-giving words passed back along the aisles in French, Polish, Russian, Czech, and back into Dutch.“
- One incident stuck in my mind: This happened when they first saw their barrack swarming with fleas. Corrie was having doubts about how they would live in such a condition when Betsie suddenly exclaimed, “He’s given us the answer!…’Give thanks in all circumstances!'” Reluctantly, Corrie began to intone her thanks after prodding from her sister. But when Betsie began to thank for the fleas, Corrie said, “There’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.” But Betsie prevailed explaining that the verse said “in all circumstances,” not just the pleasant ones. Later, Corrie would find out that they had so much freedom in there because the guards wouldn’t go near the fleas.
Message about Forgiveness
Perhaps the most inspiring tale in the book appeared toward the end when Corrie was at a church service in Munich. She spotted the man who had been a SS guard at Ravensbruck.