In Others’ Words: Tomorrow and Today

Sometimes I wonder: Could I have done what Corrie ten Boom did?

During World War II, she and her family were part of the Dutch underground — hiding, feeding and transporting Jews and other people hunted by the Nazi Gestapo out of the country. When her family was betrayed, they were separated and sent to concentration camps. Corrie and her sister Betsy were sent to the same camp, where Betsy died and Corrie survived.

Back to my original question: Could I have done what Corrie ten Boom did?

Reality is, that question can never be anything more than rhetorical because Corrie lived her life — one of courageous faith — and I am living mine.

Am I able to learn from Corrie’s example? Absolutely. Corrie truly embraced her faith — so much so that she forgave one of the concentration camp guards that so mistreated her and her sister when he sought her out years later. If that kind of woman has something to say about faith . . . or worry . . . or strength . . . I’m listening.

In Your Words: What has one of your heroes taught you?

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18 Comments

  1. March 11, 2013, 6:08 am   /  Reply

    I’ve been privileged to be in Corrie ten Boom’s home in Haarlem–twice–and in the hidden closet. I’m not a crier but cried both times at the presence there. Her family’s lifetime of small daily choices prepared each of them for huge major choices–and inspires us all. We never know what we can do until the crisis comes, and then, thankfully, God pours all we can hold into our empty vessels. Great pic, too, Beth. Thanks.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 11, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

      Dee,
      I was actually waiting for your response, wondering if you’d have any connection with Corrie ten Boom. Not surprised at all that you do. “Oh the places you’ll go … “

      • March 11, 2013, 10:14 am   /  Reply

        I stand corrected. I realize I am a crier–just learning not to do it at the right place for the right reason.

        • March 11, 2013, 11:12 am   /  Reply

          Oops, I meant learning now . . .

          • Beth Vogt
            March 11, 2013, 3:15 pm   / 

            Understood, Dee. Understood.

  2. March 11, 2013, 6:22 am   /  Reply

    In November, I had the privilege of meeting a local woman who had first hand experience with the Nazis and watching her family members being dragged off to concentration camps. Her faith is incredible. She’s a beautiful woman, and I’m so blessed for having met her.

    One of my heroes taught me promises mean everything and you don’t give up on those you love. Ever. Praying through the dark times allows God to shine his light.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 11, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

      Lisa,
      I love that lesson that your hero taught you.

  3. March 11, 2013, 6:25 am   /  Reply

    She is one of the people on my “if I could have dinner with, dead or alive…” list.
    I remember reading where she visited a men’s prison. She walked to the microphone, all the while being heckled and mocked by the all male crowd. Until she said “My name is Corrie ten Boom, and I survived a Nazi death camp.”
    That crowd went as silent as night and heard every word she said. She was one of them. She knew their hearts. She had earned their respect and the right to be heard.

    I have a friend named Adelia. She is a 4 1/2 foot tall, very shy, Bolivian Quechua woman. She looks like a wet paper bag would wear her down. But when she starts to preach? Stand back because you’re about to watch someone make Billy Graham look like he should try harder.
    She is a mouse that can roar. I’m honoured to be her friend. Gender, nationality, size, economics and language are nothing to God.

    If unassuming, simple looking women like Corrie ten Boom and Adelia Chumarco can up-end the world, why can’t I?

    • Beth Vogt
      March 11, 2013, 8:48 am   /  Reply

      Jennifer,
      Thanks for sharing about Adelia. I’d love to meet her.

  4. March 11, 2013, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    I think of Elisabeth Elliott, whose way of living life has challenged me many times to go deeper with God with transparency. She has such a bold way of living, and an amazing testimony. Her book, Passion and Purity, really encouraged me as a single woman to stay pure and to seek God with all my heart. I still seek to live some of the principles she embodies.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 11, 2013, 8:48 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne,
      I so admire and respect Elisabeth Elliott too!

  5. March 11, 2013, 8:47 am   /  Reply

    I love her story, Beth. You’re right … such faith. We all need to listen.

    Also, something about the photo is so intriguing. Sometimes a picture strikes me as really significant. This is one of them.

    I’m paying attention to Corrie and you.

  6. March 11, 2013, 9:05 am   /  Reply

    I just read Corrie’s book, “The Hiding Place,” last fall and loved it. I was so moved by her ability to forgive and love. I think that that was the biggest thing I took away, how she just kept loving others and loving Jesus, her faith was so strong. I want that kind of faith.

  7. March 11, 2013, 10:02 am   /  Reply

    Corrie ten Boom’s example of courageous faith truly inspires. And you are absolutely right … you are brave with the circumstances God gave YOU. Consequently, comparing bravery with “what ifs” spins our wheels just as much as worry. I wonder, would it be a form of worry? In my eyes, heroes always do the right thing all the time because their faith, character and integrity guide them. And that, my friend, is inspiring!

  8. March 11, 2013, 12:08 pm   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth!

    My hero taught be about the beauty of looking forward. So often the past has a tether on everything we do. We feel like our failures define us, and there are times when they can blind us to all that God has prepared for our future. But if we fail to surrender even our own forgiveness towards ourselves we miss out on the true nature of Grace. It’s a gift and it can redeem all that was lost and then some. One of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned.

    • Beth Vogt
      March 11, 2013, 3:15 pm   /  Reply

      Love the truth written in this comment, Amy!

  9. March 11, 2013, 2:22 pm   /  Reply

    I read The Hiding Place as a teenager, but I’d forgotten how much her description the Lord’s daily provision overwhelmed me. In spite of fleas, starvation and her sister’s death, He always gave her just what she needed. And to think He loves us with that same love, each and every day? What a great God we serve!

    Thank you for reminding me … again. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      March 11, 2013, 3:16 pm   /  Reply

      I needed this reminder too, Angie. Glad you were encouraged.

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