Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday Thoughts on Gratitude

There are many people that I want to be like. As a Christian woman, there is the obvious Jesus. But what about the inspiring people in our time and time gone by who have came so much closer to that goal?

I finished listening to The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom this week. I don't ever think I will be the same. If you have not read the story, it is Corrie's account of her family and their role in the Dutch underground movement during WWII in German-occupied Holland. It is a magnificent tale of family, love, unbelievable anguish and, above all, the power of God. The character, well, person as it is not fiction, I resonated with the most was Corrie. The person I want most to be like is her sister, Betsie.

Throughout the story, Corrie is repeatably amazed by the heart Betsie has for others. From knowing the life details of each customer that comes to their shop, keeping a beautiful home even while they scrape by on ration cards, adding order and a glimpse of loveliness to a tiny prison cell shared by several women, to praising God for the fleas in the concentration camp and her heart breaking for the depths of unlove held by her German guards...she overflows with unselfishness.

It's the fleas that got me. It got Corrie too. She was aghast...there were limits to what she would thank God for and fleas were over that limit...though she reluctantly prayed along with her sister. After weeks laboring outside, Betsie's poor health resulted in her assignment being changed to the sock knitting room. Corrie ended up being transferred there as well and there she learned to be grateful for fleas. The guards would not enter that room. It was infested. Betsie and Corrie had hours a day to talk with each other and share God's goodness with the other prisoners around them. For three weeks, the fleas miraculously kept them safe from further harm.

Betsie loved Jesus so much that her life was continually offered up in exchange for showing his love to some other person. God gave her visions of the future so real she could smell the flowers. Corrie remembered those visions of loveliness and marveled when they became reality. Miracles happen everyday, even today. We just have to know where to look...and start with outside of ourselves into the face of Jesus. Lord, thank you for the fleas.


Kristi said...

I have had this book on my nightstand for a couple of years, after hearing Maria talked so highly of it. I am now re-inspired to finally pick it up!

Amy said...

We read that book last fall for the older girl book club. It was humbling, inspiring, and definitely memorable! Glad you wrote about it, because it made me think of it again--and that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I read aloud, with tissue in hand and tears streaming, to the children a few years ago. One of my favorites!