Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom was famous for writing her family’s story during the Holocaust. The book, The Hiding Place, came out in 1971, and the movie followed in 1975. Wikipedia
A Time and Place for Faith
Corrie ten Boom spoke from a the roof of a drive-in movie theater snack shack in probably 1972 or 1973 in Portland, Oregon. As she spoke, I listened in the privacy of a friend’s car through the loudspeaker hanging on the driver’s window.
I didn’t know too much about the Holocaust at the time I heard Corrie ten Boom. My father did not fight in the war because of a disability. History doesn’t officially become history – in textbooks – until 25 years after the event. That meant that the end of World War II wasn’t officially history until after I graduated from high school. I listened blindly, to her story of faith, without even reading her book first.
The day she spoke it probably was raining, at least drizzling, it usually was during winter months. Corrie ten Boom was a short, plump older woman, and she sat on a high stool so people in their cars could see her. The pastor held a big, black umbrella over her head to keep her dry. Cars honked and blinked their headlights to welcome her.
She spoke for about twenty minutes telling us the story of how her family defied the Nazi’s by hiding and protecting Jews and Resistance leaders in their home. I remember being impressed with hers and her family’s faith and their determination not to be dominated by fear. Instead, they did what they felt God wanted them to do.
Even after they were arrested and sent to concentration camps under deplorable conditions, they continued to trust God rather than fear their persecutors. During those cold, damp twenty minutes on the snack shack roof, she did not dwell as much on the horrors of the Holocaust. She impressed on us, as we sat in the warmth of our cars, of the hope that she and her sister tried to share with the other prisoners as they leaned against each other in the bunks to try to sleep.
She told of many miracles. But the miracles did not save her sister’s or her father’s lives. The pastor and his wife put their arms around her back and stood close to her to keep her warm. She did not sound bitter about what happened to her and her family. Of course, she was sad especially that her sister died, but amazed and baffled that she survived. She told us that she trusted that there was a reason that she lived and the rest of her family did not. She said that her sister had more faith. Yet, it was Corrie that lived to tell the story on the cool day from the roof of the 82nd Street Drive-In snack shack in Portland Oregon
Great tragedies need and produce great faith and can inspire others to call on faith during their own times of tragedies. New Hope Community Church exposed us as young people to many speakers like Corrie ten Boom who shared their faith with us. It was an amazing time in my life.
We all die. We all lose people that are important to us. We get sick, lose jobs, go broke, and have unwanted responsibilities thrust on us. We face fear, and people who hate us for no reason. But we can all face our tragedies with faith. And in doing that, there is an inexplicable joy that bubbles up in us.
Do you have a story of faith you’d like to share?