April 22nd, 2010
Ten Boom, Corrie. The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom. Bantam Books, 1984. 242 pp. $7.99. Purchase the book at Westminster Books.
Narrated by Bernadette Dunne. Esconido: christianaudio Hovel, 2007. 9.5 hours.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, then you have heard the name Corrie Ten Boom. She is one of those women who stand head and shoulders above many of the saints for what she did. Many know that she had something to do with Jews during World War II. Still, as I quickly discovered, there is much people do not know or are mistaken in the details about Corrie Ten Boom. Unfortunately, time has a way of blurring the lines between fact and folklore.
The book begins with the 100th anniversary of the family clock and watch shop and then moves back in time to when Corrie was first born and quickly offers a brief biography of her life. During this time, we learn of the Ten Boom’s faith in Jesus Christ and how that drives everything they do.
Fast forward to World War II and we find an almost 50 year old Corrie Ten Boom working on watches and enjoying life. As Germany invades and ultimately occupies Holland, we discover that their faith in Christ as savior and Lord of all regardless of race or gender drives them to aid the Jews being persecuted.
It is quite amazing to note that the Ten Boom family practically fell into their smuggling operations. It is also interesting to note that they disagreed on how to handle certain ethical issues such as lying to the police (some members would and some would not) based upon their faith.
It is about a year before what would be the end of the war when the Ten Boom family is betrayed and sent off to prison and concentration camps. It is here that we really see what a life of faith and obedience to God. In the end, Corrie survives the camp and sets out to assist those who were impacted by the tragedy that was World War II.
As I said above, it was very interesting to hear how each person handled particular ethical dilemmas. One sister would not lie for anything which wound up costing some perhaps there lives. Corrie, on the other hand, found that she could easily lie when it came to taking care of those God had entrusted to her.
I had never read this book before listening to the audio so I had no real idea as to what I was going to discover with each passing minute. As I listened to Bernadette Dunne read the story of Corrie Ten Boom, I felt as though I was sitting in a living room talking with my aging grandmother about what God had accomplished in her life. Bernadette read this story with the emotion of a woman who had lived this life. You could feel the pain in her voice when she realized who had betrayed them. You could hear the dejection when she was challenged by God’s grace and her selfishness.
If you have never read The Hiding Place, then you have missed out on one of Christendom’s greatest little treasures. If you have not read it, then I would highly recommend you get the audio and listen to it. You cannot listen (or, I assume, read) to this book without it changing you. Over and over again, I was convicted by my own weaknesses when compared to the strength and faith of Corrie Ten Boom. If you listen to this book and are not changed, then you need to make sure that you are a true, regenerate child of God.