Corrie ten Boom April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983

Corrie (Cornelia) ten Boom is one of my heroes of the faith. She was the daughter of a Dutch watchmaker living in Holland during WWII. She and her family hid Jews in their home to protect them from being sent to the prison camps. One day the Nazi officers arrested Corrie and her family for hiding Jewish people in their home and they were sent to prison. Corrie and her sister Betsie were eventually sent to the Ravensbruck death camp. Corrie is the only one of her family that survived, and her story is written in her book called The Hiding Place.

What I love most about Corrie is her simple wisdom and devotion to the Lord. She endured such evil, including seeing her family die in the horrid camp conditions. Yet she radiates with the light of God’s love and peace. In her book Tramp for the Lord she tells the story about how years after her release from the concentration camp, she came in contact with one of the most brutal prison guards and extended forgiveness to him. Her life is an example of how God works in and through our lives, carrying us through the hardships. And she is an amazing testimony to His faithfulness and how His light can shine even in the darkest places.

Corrie’s story prompts me to ask some probing questions about my faith walk.

What Message am I Leaving Behind?

Corrie ten Boom’s story of faith is inspiring and timeless. Her legacy lives on through her penned words. Lives continue to be touched even though she has been gone since 1983. It is words like these from Tramp for the Lord that fill my sails with hope to continue on life’s journey:

I soon discovered that man’s importunity is God’s opportunity. He uses our problems as building materials for His miracles.  Page 35

God has plans—not problems—for our lives. Page 10 

Before she died in the concentration camp in Ravensbruck, my sister Betsie said to me, “Corrie, your whole life has been a training for the work you are doing here in prison—and for the work you will do afterward.” Page 11

…whether I am walking in the bright light of His presence, or abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, I know that He is not only with me, He is in me. Page 63

What a treasure trove of encouragement! This inspires me to think, every believer is leaving behind hope for the next generation. What will your message be? What will mine say to future generations?

Am I Trusting God to Lead?

In Tramp for the Lord, Corrie tells of her adventures of feeling led by the Lord to go from country to country to tell her story after her release from the Ravensbruck death camp. She boarded a plane without hotel reservations, scheduled speaking engagements, or details, trusting the Lord to lead her when she arrived. And the amazing thing is that He did.

Corrie’s adventures make me realize how much I play it safe. I look at my world with two-dimensional reason rather than three-dimensional faith. There is a part of me that wants to be like Corrie—totally trusting—completely surrendered—and in tune with the voice of my Father. There is a desire to understand Whittier’s words that say, the steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath.