A few weeks ago I read Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place for the first time. I know now why it’s on all the must-read lists. One must read it. Like one must drink water.
Anyway, this passage caught me by the heart and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ll just reproduce it here. I can’t say anything to make it better or clearer or more beautiful (except maybe this for the unfamiliar: Corrie is recalling her time in a concentration camp)
“But as the rest of the world grew stranger, one thing became increasingly clear. And that was the reason the two of us were here. Why others should suffer we were not shown. As for us, from morning until lights-out, whenever we were not in ranks for roll call, our Bible was the center of an ever-widening circle of health and hope.
Like waifs clustered around a blazing fire, we gathered about it, holding out our hearts to its warmth and light. The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
I would look about us as Betsie read, watching the light leap from face to face. More than conquerors…It was not a wish. It was a fact.
We knew it, we experienced it minute by minute—poor, hated, hungry. We are more than conquerors. Not “we shall be.” We are!
Life in Ravensbruck took place on two separate levels, mutually impossible. One, the observable, external life, grew every day more horrible. The other, the life we lived with God, grew daily better, truth upon truth, glory upon glory.
Sometimes I would slip the Bible from its little (sack) with hands that shook, so mysterious had it become to me. It was new; it had just been written. I marveled sometimes that the ink was dry. I had believed the Bible always, but reading it now had nothing to do with belief. It was simply a description of the way things were—of hell and heaven, of how men act and how God acts. I had read a thousand times the story of Jesus’ arrest—how soldiers had slapped Him, laughed at Him, flogged Him. Now such happenings had faces and voices.