Thursday, September 21, 2006

Light in dark places

I've been reading Corrie ten Boom's "Hiding Place" for the second time. It's a wonderful story about how Corrie and her sister, Betsie, ended up in a concentration camp during the second world war. They had been hiding Jews in their homes. With great ingenuity Corrie smuggled a Bible into the camp. I know it sounds like a horrid story, but believe me, it's inspiring.

Betsie was the ultimate optimist, thanking God for everything under the sun, asking God to help their guards, cruel as they were. When she thanked God for the fleas that infested their barracks, Corrie thought she'd gone too far.

In the evening they began to have worship services under the one bare lightbulb in the huge barracks. After singing in the different languages of the women there, they read the Bible. It was a Dutch Bible, but Betsie and Corrie translated it to German which was understood better. Then they would hear the "life-giving" words passed on around the room in French, Polish, Russian, Czech, and back to Dutch again.

This was an amazingly beautiful thing to be happening in such a terrible place, where people were suffering so much. In Corrie's words, " darkness God's truth shines most clear."

I remember the numerous times I've been in darkness, misery that in some ways paralleled the concentration camp experience. Often God has then seemed distant - unreachable. But there have also been times like that when He seemed more real than ever. It's at times like that when I found out what Betsie said in the book: "...there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still."

Corrie and Betsie always wondered why the guards, who controlled their every move, never checked up on what they were doing. Why were they allowed this freedom? Why was their Bible not taken away from them? One day they found out. It was because of the flea infestation that the guards would not set foot in the barracks.

Neat story, eh?


Sarah said...

hey i figured i'd leave you a message since i've seen you comment on the blogs of bipolar webring and I find your comments so encouraging so I wanted to get to know you better. PLus I used to live in Vancouver yay lol

Which church do you go to there? I used to go to Willingdon which is actually in Burnaby

Anyhoo, you're an awesome woman of God!!

I have two blogs this one is the more spiritual one and the second one is minly about bipolar. Peace to you:)

marja said...

Hi Sarah! Actually, I live in Burnaby as well. I only say Vancouver because people know where that is. Not everyone has heard of Burnaby.

I know Willingdon Church - know some people who go there. It's huge. My church is much smaller, Brentwood Park Alliance. It's near Brentwood Mall. I love it. On Sundays I'm one of the first people to arrive and one of the last to go home. I love my friends there. They're one reason I'm doing as well as I am, I'm sure.

Bleeding Heart said...

Great story! It is amazing how things work out, huh?