(Review) The Hiding Place, 35th Anniversary Edition by Corrie ten Boom with Elizabeth and John Sherrill
Publisher: Chosen Books
Rating: 5 stars for excellent
Links of interest on Corrie ten Boom:
PBS, The Question of God, Other Voices
Corrie ten Boom History
Ten Boom Museum
Cornelia (Corrie) ten Boom was born in 1892. Her father owned a shop that repaired watches and clocks. The family shop opened in 1837, and had originally been owned by her paternal grandfather. Her father was a well-known watchmaker. They lived in Haarlem, Holland. The watch shop and home was in the same building. Corrie was the youngest of four children: Betsie, Nollie, Willem, and Corrie. Their mother died in 1921. After their mother's death, Corrie began working in the shop full-time. Betsie and Corrie never married. After Nazi Germany invaded Holland, the family began work to help hide Jews. The family was arrested by the Gestapo. Betsie and Corrie are later sent to Ravensbruck, the women's concentration camp in Germany. The horrific experiences during imprisonment is described. Corrie's later years of dedicated mission work is portrayed.
It's been several years ago, but I had the privilege of hearing and meeting Pam Rosewell Moore. She was the last companion and caregiver of Corrie.
I had already read The Hiding Place once, and felt familiar with Corrie's life. It was a wonderful experience to meet and hear first hand stories from Pam.
Yesterday, I finished reading a book she wrote about Corrie ten Boom. The book fills the gaps on Corrie's life and personality. The title is Life Lessons from the Hiding Place. This review will be posted soon.
One of the negative responses in reviews of The Hiding Place, is Corrie's supposed downplay of imprisonment in a concentration camp, as compared to other books on this subject. Another words, the reviewers wanted to read more graphic details of the events. More graphic details equals a more powerful story.
I have several responses: all authors have at least one (or more) reasons for writing a book, it does not matter if the book is fiction or nonfiction.
Three reasons are explained in the foreword, preface, and introduction.
1. God's grace is sufficient.
2. Experiences of the past prepare us for the future.
3. Corrie placed her life on the line for what she believed.
Corrie did write of the horrors of imprisonment. Her grief and pain over the deaths of her father and sister were crushing. But, Corrie chose to make Christ bigger. There is a verse in John that I thought about while reading this book.
"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
Corrie ten boom wrestled with sickness, betrayal, physical pain, isolation, violence, and unforgiveness. She does not shy away from these struggles. But, she also shows the process to forgiving.
I feel, Corrie ten Boom agreed to have her life story told, but wanted God to have the larger story.
She was His servant.
The faithful love between Corrie and her sister, other siblings, and their father is beautiful.
Their work to help the Jews, and to be willing to sacrifice their own lives, shows the ultimate act of love: To love, no matter the cost.
Corrie was a trooper. Her senior years were not spent in a rocking chair crocheting. She made the most of every opportunity to serve the Lord...even to the ends of the earth.
Corrie's life speaks of most of us, because she loved the Lord, yet she had many moments of falling short. Her heart remained teachable, and she displayed transparency and humility.