6.25.2008

The BBBC: The Hiding Place

I did not know what to expect when I began reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I knew it was her account of her experience in Holland and Germany during the Holocaust, but that was all I knew. Would this book be terribly depressing? Would I be able to read it?

Corrie begins her story relating growing up in Holland with her family and vividly describes their life in pre-war Haarlem, a small town in Holland. I was drawn in to her descriptions of the extended family members living with them in their small rooms above the families' watchmaker shop. You gradually see things begin to change in their community as Holland becomes occupied by Germany and Jewish persecution becomes stronger.

She and her family began to provide help to the Jews in and around their neighborhood by getting them ration cards, a safe place to stay for a night or so as they traveled to another city or even letting them live with them . Corrie used her wits and her connections in her community to become a leader in the Jewish underground evacuation movement. It was interesting to read about how the underground network worked, and how extensive it was. Even with the constant risk of arrest, ordinary people banded together to do their part to save many lives.

The Hiding Place refers not only to a small secret room built in Corrie's own bedroom to safely hide the Jewish people living with them in case of a raid, but the safe hiding place that Jesus offers. Corrie's faith in God remained strong throughout her experiences helping the Jews in Haarlem, while she was in prison and even in the concentration camp. She may not have always understood, but she turned to God for guidance and strength. Corrie, along with her sister Betsie, influenced so many of their fellow prisoners and even German guards with the light of Jesus that radiated through them in the darkness.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"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."

"Our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need --just in time."

"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It's something we make inside ourselves."

Corrie and Betsie found much strength from this passage from I Thessalonians 5: 14-18
"And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Reading The Hiding Place was very moving and inspiring. Corrie's faith, in all circumstances, was an encouragement to me.

What did you think of The Hiding Place? Link your BBBC post to Mr. Linky below and let the discussion begin.





5 comments:

  1. I apprecitate your initiating this book club discussion, I have now read three books that I had never gotten too and enjoyed all three.

    The Ten Boom experience was horrible on the surface, and shared by millions. Unfortunately not everyone who suffered the external had the same Hiding Place.

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  2. Thanks for the great summary of the book, which I neglected in my review of the book today because I was so overwhelmed by how much her experiences can relate to my own. Despite the fact that I have such a wonderful life, we each need to discover our own hiding place. That hiding place is not so much a place to suppress the horrors of this earth but to discover God's blessings in the midst of them. While this is a much loved book by many friends and family I had never read it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  3. is there a new selection for next month?

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  4. Sure, there's always another book to read! I'll post about it soon.

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  5. I didn't get to this one. maybe someday. sounds like a really good one...

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