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The Hiding Place

January 23, 2016

THPThis is based on Corrie Ten boom’s autobiography.

When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Corrie and her family allowed Jews to hide in a part of their home that is specially remodelled by members of the Dutch resistance.

There is no group stereotyping; not all Nazis or Germans are bad, not all Christians or Dutch Gentiles are heroic, and most but not all of the ten Booms’ Jewish refugees are sympathetic. The depth and rigor of the ten Booms’ faith is profoundly moving and challenging, though while they may be, in the gospel idiom, as innocent as doves, they aren’t necessarily as shrewd as serpents. The ten Booms seem almost too above-board and open to be truly crafty, and their otherworldliness at times seems to border on naiveté. It feels inevitable that they will be caught sooner or later, and of course eventually they are.

For the ten Booms, sheltering Jews from the Nazi storm is no act of political resistance or activism, but a gospel mandate: To shut their doors to anyone in need would be to shut them to Jesus Christ. There is no condescension, no self-congratulation; they see themselves as servants, not benefactors. When ten Boom invites a Jewish professor to say the grace before the meal, it isn’t a magnanimous gesture, but a sincere expression of religious respect.

It isn’t always easy. One of their guests is the imperious, prickly Mr. Weinstock, a teacher who refuses to take his share of the household work and treats the ten Booms as staff rather than hosts, let alone hosts who are risking their lives to host him. Eventually, in an unexpectedly revealing conversation with Corrie, it becomes clear that Weinstock’s arrogant attitude is a defense mechanism — that to adopt the posture of a suppliant would be to acknowledge the desperation of his circumstances and to lose the shred of pride that is his last defense. The film understands this, but it doesn’t excuse him, or his parting shot to Corrie: “You still won’t get me to wash dishes!”

The Nazis eventually discovered this and on February 28, 1944, the entire family and their friends are arrested after their betrayal by a Dutch collaborator. The hidden Jews were never found by authorities. Corrie’s father, Casper, died before he reaches the concentration camp, and Corrie worried that she wouldl never see her home again. The Nazis send Corrie and her sister, Betsie, to the Ravensbrück concentration camp where Betsie encouraged Corrie to remain hopeful that God would rescue them from the brutalities they experienced.

For all that Corrie and Betsie suffer at the camp, perhaps the starkest trial is simply the question: Where is God? There are little hints of grace and providence even in their trials; Corrie knows her faith tells her to be thankful in all circumstances, yet she cannot bring herself to be thankful for lice — until circumstances reveal that even lice can be a blessing. Yet why does God allow the camp at all? What is the point of such suffering? When a fellow prisoner challenges the sisters on this point, they struggle with words, sure only that “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.”

With little food and constant work, the women suffered constantly, and Corrie’s sister Betsie died. Corrie left the camp in December, 1944 through what is discovered years later to have been a clerical error, as everyone else in her group of prisoners was gassed the following month (January, 1945).

Like a number of other Christian movies, this movie does have a reasonably strong undercurrent that whatever God allows in our lives must be His will for us (because the logic dictates that if it wasn’t His will, He wouldn’t allow it to happen)

THP2Papa: Remember, it is the Jews who gave us the Bible … and our Saviour.

Papa: The God of Abraham and Isaac — and my God too

Corrie Ten Boom: Years later it was learned my release came through a clerical error, what some might call a mistake. Not long after I was set free, women my age were put to death. Yes, I am Corrie Ten Boom, in my 80’s now. Some questions remain but they are not to be feared. Our Heavenly Father holds all things in His hands, even our questions. As for myself in the years since Ravensbruck, the Lord has sent me to some 60 countries and I have taught to anyone who would listen, no pit is so deep that He is not deeper still. With Jesus, even in our darkest moments, the best remains and the very best will be. I promised my sister I would tell it, and I tell you.

Betsie ten Boom: [to Corrie] Together you and I, always together.

Corrie ten Boom: All I can say is that the same God you’re accusing, came and lived in the midst of this world. He was beaten and He was mocked and He died on a cross and He did it for love, for us.

Betsie ten Boom: You know, Corrie, we’re going to be free before the new year, I know it.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
“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.”
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”
“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
“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 that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
“You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”
“What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul. ”
“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”
“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”
“In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”
“Some knowledge is too heavy…you cannot bear it…your Father will carry it until you are able.”
“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”
“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?”
“Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.”
“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
“And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, “Father, what is sexsin?”
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
It’s too heavy,” I said.
Yes,” he said, “and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.”
“Dear Jesus…how foolish of me to have called for human help when You are here.”
“It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.”
“when we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus”
“There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!”
“There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”
“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know – to tell us that this too is in His hands.”
“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.”
“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.”
“Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way . . . God can give us the perfect way.”
“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”
“Love is larger than the walls which shut it in.”
“When I try, I fail.
When I trust,
He succeeds.”
“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)

“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
“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. ”
“And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him.”
“…..joy runs deeper than despair.”
“Perhaps only when human effort had done it’s best and failed, would God’s power alone be free to work.”
“Faith is like radar that sees through the fog — the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.”
“Mama’s love had always been the kind that acted itself out with soup pot and sewing basket. But now that these things were taken away, the love seemed as whole as before. She sat in her chair at the window and loved us. She loved the people she saw in the street– and beyond: her love took in the city, the land of Holland, the world. And so I learned that love is larger than the walls which shut it in. ”
“The tree on the mountain takes whatever the weather brings. If it has any choice at all, it is in putting down roots as deeply as possible.”—Each New Day”
“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.”
“How often it is a small, almost unconscious event that makes a turning point.”
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
“(on forgiveness) Didn’t he and I stand together before an all seeing God convicted of the same murder? For I had murdered him with my heart and my tongue.”
“Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small.”
“And for all these people alike, the key to healing turned out to be the same. Each had a hurt he had to forgive.”
“We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world and the spiritual agents are from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore, we must wear the “whole armour of God,” that we may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when we have fought to a standstill, we may still stand our ground.”
“Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam-when do I give you your ticket?”
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
“Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out 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.”
“All through the short afternoon they kept coming, the people who counted themselves Father’s friends. Young and old, poor and rich, scholarly gentlemen and illiterate servant girls—only to Father did it seem that they were all alike. That was Father’s secret: not that he overlooked the differences in people; that he didn’t know they were there.”
“…suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say, “There’ll be someone else soon,” and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. For in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not–soon or ever–be anyone else.

The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words.

“Corrie,” he began instead, “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 more 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 his perfect way.”

I did not know, as I listened to Father’s footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this–places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.”
“We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.”
“When you are covered by His wings, it can get pretty dark.”
“You may never know that JESUS is all you need, until JESUS is all you have.”
“No hatred”
“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.”
“Oh, this was the great ploy of Satan in that kingdom of his: to display such blatant evil one could almost believe one’s own secret sin didn’t matter.”
“If the devil cannot make us bad, he will make us busy.”
“Surely there is no more wretched sight that the human body unloved and uncared for.”
“It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.

He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
“When He tells us to love our enemies He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
“He uses our problems for His miracles. This was my first lesson in learning to trust Him completely…”
“and here I felt a strange leaping of my heart-God did! My job was to simply follow His leading one step at a time, holding every decision up to him in prayer.”
“Your love in me is stronger than the hatred.”
“If the Gospels were truly the pattern of God’s activity, then defeat was only the beginning.”
“You saw we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.”
“It is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
“At last we heard Father’s footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the blankets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe.

But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. “I need you!” I sobbed. “You can’t die! You can’t!”

Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” I sniffed a few times, considering this. “Why, just before we get on the train.”

“Exactly. And our wise Father in Heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out 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.”
“His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in your will! Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside of it!”
“A religion that is small enough for our understanding would not be big enough for our needs.”
“Love is the strongest force in the world.”
“One day as Father and I were returning from our walk we found the Grote Markt cordoned off by a double ring of police and soldiers. A truck was parked in front of the fish mart; into the back were climbing men, women, and children, all wearing the yellow star. . . .

“Father! Those poor people!” I cried. . . .

“Those poor people,” Father echoed. But to my surprise I saw that he was looking at the solders now forming into ranks to march away. “I pity the poor Germans, Corrie. They have touched the apple of God’s eye.”
“You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.”
“Mama,’ I said as I set the tray on the bed and sat down beside it, ‘can’t we do something for Tante Bep? I mean, isn’t it sad that she has to spend her last days here where she hates it, instead of where she was happy? The Wallers’ or someplace?’

‘Corrie, Bep has been just as happy here with us–no more and no less–than she was anywhere else. Do you know when she started praising the Wallers so highly? The day she left them. As long as she was there, she had nothing but complaints. The Wallers couldn’t compare with the van Hooks where she’d been before. But at the van Hooks, she’d actually been miserable. Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It’s something we make inside ourselves.”
“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.”
“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.”
“God never measures the mind… He always put His tape measure in the HEART”
“And so I learned that love is larger than the walls that shut it in”
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart”

“It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability that counts.”

“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.”

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.”
“Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.

And I was satisfied. More than satisfied–wonderfully at peace. There were answers to mmy hard questions–for now, I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”
“Books do not age as you and I do. They will speak still when you and I are gone, to generations we will never see. Yes, the books must survive.”
“Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes.”
“The Gestapo chief leaned forward. I’d like to send you home, old fellow,” he said. “I’ll take your word that you won’t cause any more trouble.”

I could not see father’s face, only the erect carriage of his shoulders and the halo of white hair above them. But I heard his answer.

“If I go home today,” he said evenly and clearly, “tomorrow I will open my door again to any man in need who knocks.”
“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
“The 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.”
“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.”
“God has plans—not problems—for our lives.”
“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. . . . Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.”
“Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.”
“this is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for a future that only He can see.”
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It’s something we make inside ourselves.”
“I had believed the Bible always, but reading it now had nothing to do with belief. It was simply a description of the way things were–of hell and heaven, of how men act and how God acts.”
“God dealt with our whole situation on the cross; there is nothing left for you to settle. Just say to Him, “Lord, I cannot forgive and I will no longer try to do it; but I trust that You in me will do it. I can’t forgive and love; but I trust that You will forgive and love in my place and that You will do these things in me.”
“Everyone needs the Holy Spirit to understand spiritual truths. I found that when we taught the Gospel in an uncomplicated way the Holy Spirit did not need a high I.Q. to reveal Himself.”
“Voltaire expected that within fifty years of his lifetime there would not be one Bible in the world. His house is now a distribution centre for Bibles in many languages.”
“And I would know again that in darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”
“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.”
“And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out 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.”

 

“We must be so careful that we do not refuse the cross that the Lord has given us to carry. Let us remember that our present sufferings serve to prepare us for entering into the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Oh Father! Betsie! If I had known would”
“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.”
“It was one thing to believe that such things were possible thousands of years ago, another to have it happen now, to us, this very day.”
“corkscrew staircase squeezed”
“Conny and I stood in line, along with other people, outside Checkpoint Charlie, the gate for foreigners into East Berlin. Many of those in line were Dutch, and I saw they were being passed without difficulty. Everything seemed routine: Hand your passport to a guard, walk down the line, and receive your passport back with a stamp that allowed you to spend the one day in East Berlin. I hoped it would be as easy for us when it was our turn to be checked. Finally we were in front of the window. The guard looked at our passports, looked in a book and then turned and said something to another man behind him. “Is there a problem?” I asked the man. He turned and gave me a stern look. “Come with”
“If you want converts, surely one normal person is worth all the half-wits in the world!” “May I tell you the truth Lieutenant Rahms? The truth, Sir, is that 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 scripture I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains, but simply because He has made us. Who knows, in His eyes, a half-wit may be worth more than a watchmaker. Or a Lieutenant.”
“Young and old, poor and rich, scholarly gentlemen and illiterate servant girls—only to Father did it seem that they were all alike. That was Father’s secret: not that he overlooked the differences in people; that he didn’t know they were there.”
“Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. The forgiveness of Jesus not only takes away our sins, it makes them as if they had never been.”
“You have had to travel a long way to get here, to tell us about the Lord Jesus. Please thank your tribe that they have allowed you to come here.”
“What I spent, I had; what I saved, I lost; what I gave, I have.”
“Of course it was not my wholeness, but Christ’s that made the difference.”
“Do you know what hurts so 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 that happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of use dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
“And I’ve never met anybody who said that they were sorry that the Lord Jesus had entered their hearts.”

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