As a family we have been reading an incredibly helpful and moving book, called the Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. It is the true account of a christian family in in Nazi occupied Holland, sent to concentration camps for the crime of harboring Jews in their home.
The two unmarried sisters, Corrie and Betsie, both in their fifties, were living with their godly Father, Kasper Ten Boom, when the Nazi war machine rolled into their lives, bringing death and turmoil to their formerly comfortable and predictable lives.
Because they loved Jesus and the Word of God, they opened their home as a refuge to those fleeing the horrifyingly systematic search and destroy apparatus of the Nazi’s. Especially the Jews. I can’t recommend this book enough, for families, but I wouldn’t read it to children any younger than twelve.
I have excerpted this moving passage , from a few years after the war. Corrie, the lone family survivor of the horrible camps, has given her testimony at a church in Munich, Germany. A former guard and tormentor ,to both she and her sister, approached her, apparently not recognizing her as one of his own captives,
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who
had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at
Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that
time. And suddenly it was all there—the roomful of mocking men [gawking
at our nakedness], the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How
grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you
say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine.
And I, who had preached so often…the need to forgive, kept my hand at my
Even as the angry, vengeful , [fearful] thoughts boiled through me, I saw
the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for
“Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.” I tried to
smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the
slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer.
“Jesus,” I prayed, “I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness.”
As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder
along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to
him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost
And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our
goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on his. When he tells us to
love our enemies, he gives, along with the command, the love itself. (The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom, John and Elisabeth Sherril, Spire)
We need to remind us in this time of hatred, that God can give us Love for our enemies, Muslim terrorists, Socialists, communists who hate and want to destroy our way of life, still need to get a glimpse of what God is like, they need to see the love of Jesus in us.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.(Romans 12:19-21)