Sunday, April 4, 2010

see mj write: day 4 {your favorite book}

it seems fitting that today, the day we celebrate the atonement and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, i was able to spend some time thinking about my favorite book, the hiding place by corrie ten boom.

if you read one book this year, it should be this one. and if you need a copy, you can borrow mine - as long as you don't mind reading from well-worn, falling-out pages.

the book details a few years of the lives of a christian family, the ten booms, as they seek to aid their jewish friends in any way possible during the nazi invasion of holland. after a little while, the ten boom family is discovered hiding jews in their home, the beje. most of her family ends up being killed or dying from sicknesses in concentration camps. corrie and her sister end up goign to the same prisons and concentration camps for most of the time. they are miraculously able to sneak in a copy of the bible and proceed to teach the other prisonsers and even some guards about the love of christ. betsie succumbs to an illness and ends up dying in a camp. corrie is released due to what later proved to be a clerical error.

the time period and historical facts in this book are incredible and so interesting, yes. but, it's not why i have read this book over and over and over throughout the past 10 years of my life.

it's the ten boom's attitudes. their faith. their knowledge and belief in a loving heavenly father. their yearning to teach others of the love Christ has for each of his children, no matter their circumstances in life.

these feelings come so naturally to corrie's sister, betsie, while corrie tends to struggle with having kind thoughts about the nazis or those leading the concentration camps. and yet they trudge on through life, ever forgiving, ever mindful of others, ever faithful and ever growing and learning from their experiences. in one particular instance, betsie said a prayer thanking god for the fleas in their cell. corrie thought she was crazy! but they later learned that the guards kept a good distance from that particular cell specifically because of the fleas.

i've never lived in a concentration camp. i've never witnessed the types of horror so many people witnessed daily during that time. i've never been asked to risk my life to save the life of another. but, i think we can all learn from their outlook on life. we all have trials. we all come to a point where we might need to forgive someone who has wronged us. we all probably need to be forgiven for how we have wronged another. we all have our own personal prisons.

and i think we can take a lesson from corrie and betsie that we are all god's children. jesus christ sacrificed his life for me and for you and for that guy who cut you off on the freeway yesterday, and that lady who looked at your handicapped daughter with disgust because she was acting up at the blood lab. we all need to be thankful for the fleas in our lives.

he atoned for our sins. he bled from every pore for our sorrows. he felt our pain. he knows our grief. this, i know.

{some favorite quotes:}

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

"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."

"God's viewpoint is sometimes different from ours - so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things....In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strenght or our brains but simply because He has made us."

"Perhaps only when human effort had done it's best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work."

"Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that 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. "


AJ said...

Oh, I love this book too. I have actually only read it once, but it was awesome. The movie is actually really good too and follows the story very well. And Corrie Ten Boom talks a little about her experience at the end of it.
And when her story was told during conference yesterday I cried yet again. I definitely need to read it again.

Cheryl and William said...

I love this book too- the story about the fleas also gives me the example about how just how important our perspective is in dealing with the difficulties that we face

Jen said...

Who told this story in Conference yesterday?? I had never heard of the book before. Thanks for the great recommendation Maren!!

Rob and Marseille said...

i wondered if it was this book was referenced in conference....i can't remember who talked about it either.

Rebecca Parker said...

This is a great book! Thanks for the reminder...I will always remember part where she was grateful for the lice 'cuz it meant that the guards stayed outta their place and allowed 'em to read the Bible plus she got to experience it with her sister! Then I can only imagine seeing 'em in the congregation when she spoke after the fact-whoa! I think there's a sequel that I need to still read too-Of course, I'm partial to that time period/loc from my mission as well. I have a few overdue books from the library though so am really behind on all that I want to read not to mention the time req eh? Wish someday I could retain & quote like the General Authorities do too:)