If I could write a letter to Corrie Ten Boom

I don’t have that much to write this evening. No, I have not forgotten about the post that I promised (t-shirt tutorial, my BHAG, etc).

I’m starting to realize just how audacious some of my goals are. Some of my short term goals that is. Just how impossible – at least according to conventional wisdom. I shy briefly, but keep going. Maybe it can’t be done – but I won’t say so until I’ve tried.

I’m still struggling with my website. I want it to include a wiki and blog. Right now it includes nada.
Church was inspirational. The thought for today is dream big and praise Him in advance. God is good – all the time. All the time – God is good.
My French-speaking friend laughed at my accidental declaration regarding my species. (See yesterday’s post.)

Tonight you will get a rough draft of an essay that I wrote last month.
I hope you enjoy it.

If I could write a letter to a particular character or person, I would write to Corrie Ten Boom.

Corrie Ten Boom was born to a Dutch family in 1892. The Ten Booms were fine watchmakers and lived in Harlem. In the 1940s, Corrie and her family found themselves in the throes of World War 2. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, the Christian Ten Booms felt it was their duty and calling to aid, assist and shelter the oppressed. Corrie, ever a woman of action, earned the title “ringleader” of the local Dutch opposition.

Finally infiltrated by a double agent, the Ten Booms were arrested by the Nazis and thrown in prison. The Jews that they had sheltered escaped unharmed. The Ten Booms were not so lucky. After brutal imprisonment and slavery in some of the most dreaded concentration camps, only Corrie survived.

When she was accidentally released from the Ravensbruck concentration camp near the end of the war, Corrie went home to continue the work her family had died for: the work of ministering to those in need. With what she described as “God’s love” in her heart, she forgave her tormentors, built a rehabilitation center for victims, and traveled extensively, sharing her miraculous story of hope and forgiveness with thousands. In addition, she wrote many books, in which she chronicled her experiences and urged fellow survivors to lay off the chains of bitterness and hatred with which, she claimed, their captors still chained them.

I “met” Corrie Ten Boom when I was just six years old. I still remember picking up a thick, worn book sporting the title “The Hiding Place”. As I began to read, I was captivated. I would read this book from beginning to end at least five times over the next several years.

I was moved by her suffering and heroism, I was surprised by her resilience and forgiveness. I cried as I read about a time when she met, shook hands with and forgave one of her former concentration camp guards.
I was quiet – almost reverent as I walked through her home in Harlem, when I entered her tiny room and stepped inside the tiny closet of a hiding place which she had used to save lives.

Throughout my life, I’ve come to admire and appreciate her as a heroine of the truest nature. A woman who overcome her humanity, and accomplished something super human.

I sometimes compare myself with her. I have never gone through anything even remotely as horrific as the victims of World War 2. How is it that I allow myself the liberty to NOT forgive?

If I could write Corrie Ten Boom a letter, it would read as follows:

“Dear Ms. Ten Boom,

You know nothing of me. I am just a young girl from Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.

You have inspired me in ways I’m sure you never thought your book would inspire such a young mind. At six, you, through The Hiding Place, sewed the precious seed of forgiveness that is still growing in my heart. I only wish to one day have the true strength that you have exemplified. The strength to forgive while not condoning. The strength to move on through your pain to bless others – even the ones who have done you such terrible injustice.

I’d like to ask you: How did you survive such horrors with your heart intact? How were you willing to even be willing to forgive your cruel captors? And how were you able to encourage others to do the same?

Someone you touched”


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