From the time she was a little girl, Corrie ten Boom’s godly parents and loving, happy family influenced the woman she would become. The lessons she learned from them have touched my heart and helped me grow, and I’d like to share them with you.
Not familiar with Corrie’s story? Born in Holland in 1892, she was 48 when the Nazi’s invaded in 1940. Corrie, her older sister, and elderly father risked their lives to take in Jewish refugees and hide them in a tiny room at the top of their house. In the following excerpt from The Hiding Place, by John Sherrill, Corrie shares how God prepared her for what was to come, from the very first day of the war.
In Corrie’s words . . . How long we clung together, listening, I do not know. The bombing seemed mostly to be coming from the direction of the airport. The glowing sky lit the room with a strange brilliance. The chairs, the mahogany bookcase, the old upright piano, all pulsed with an eerie light . . . It was war.
Betsie and I knelt down by the piano bench. For what seemed hours we prayed for our country, for the dead and injured tonight, for the Queen. And then, incredibly, Betsie began to pray for the Germans, up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loose in Germany. I looked at my sister kneeling beside me in the light of burning Holland.
“Oh Lord,” I whispered, “listen to Betsie, not me, because I cannot pray for those men at all.” . . . And it was then that I had the dream. It couldn’t have been a real dream because I was not asleep. But a scene was suddenly and unreasonably in my mind. I saw the Grote Markt, half a block away, as clearly as though I were standing there, saw the town hall and St. Bavo’s and the fish mart with its stair-stepped facade.
Then as I watched, a kind of odd, old farm wagon-old fashioned and out of place in the middle of a city-came lumbering across the square pulled by four enormous black horses. To my surprise I saw that I myself was sitting in the wagon. And Father too! And Betsie! There were many others, some strangers, some friends.
All together we were slowly being drawn across the square behind those horses. We couldn’t get off the wagon, that was the terrible thing. It was taking us away—far away, I felt—but we didn’t want to go . . .
“Betsie!” I cried, jumping up, pressing my hands to my eyes. “Betsie, I’ve had such an awful dream!” I felt her arm around my shoulder.
“We’ll go down to the kitchen where the light won’t show, and we’ll make a pot of coffee.” The booming of the bombs was less frequent and farther away as Betsie put on the water. Closer by was the wail of fire alarms and the beep of the hose trucks.
Over coffee, standing at the stove, I told Betsie what I had seen. “Am I imagining things because I’m frightened? But it wasn’t like that! It was real. Oh Betsie, was it a kind of vision?”
“I don’t know,” she said softly. “But 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.”
Read my previous posts about Corrie or purchase a copy of her book for yourself: