Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Hiding Place revealed

As educators, we realize how important it is to continue to read within our disciplines for a well-rounded mental library from which to draw. The school year gets started, we are saddled with deadlines, grading, meetings, collaborating, with all the while trying to keep up with our own family lives. It simply gets hectic. Outside reading often goes by the wayside.

In 2010, I was bestowed with the honor of becoming a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Fellow. One of the many perks is a stipend to spend freely in the USHMM bookstore. As I was relishing in my decisions, I walked past Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. My Mother often quotes from Ten Boom’s work and as a Holocaust educator I was somewhat familiar with the premise of her story. I picked up a few other items and kept coming back to The Hiding Place. I am so very glad that I did.

As a Christian, living in Holland, Ten Boom tells of a very rich family life and a love of people from all walks of life, prior to the outbreak of World War II. The incredible theme in her story is not of heroism, danger and rescue, which are all present. The elements that are glaringly apparent throughout the entire account are those of common decency coupled with forgiveness. Ten Boom struggled with these in face of incredible odds. She reveals throughout prewar, during her wartime imprisonment and postwar how forgiveness & mere decency are powerful elements in living a fulfilled life. Ten Boom lost significantly at the hands of the Nazis yet she remained decent to her captors & forgiveness helped her to push through the pain of loss. Her story does not focus solely on faith, nor ethnicity or gender and it is one of my most powerful works that I have read from any genre.

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