On Tuesday night, our book club met to discuss our first book, Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place.
I had originally started the club because:
1. I’ve always wanted to be a part of a book club, so why not invite me to my own?
2. After reading and watching The Jane Austen Book Club (which I don’t necessarily recommend), I realized that people need a safe place to gossip about other people, hash out the finer details of relationships, and air thoughts. I figured, a book club is a safe place because the subjects of gossip don’t really exist.
I hadn’t anticipated the worth of:
1. spending time with real people who think, and respond, and love
2. spending time with “book” people who, it turns out, I don’t want to gossip about, but rather want to be like
I think we all discovered that The Hiding Place is full of admirable, courageous people doing things we all aspire to do. Corrie Ten Boom sheds such a brilliant light on the virtuous characters that the evil characters fade into the background.
I most appreciated the theme of home. Through her story telling, Corrie invites us all into the loveliness of Father, Mama, Betsy, Tante Jans… We can’t help but feel like we are home when we are with them.
Most precious to me were the lessons I learned from Corrie’s Father and Mama. It was because of Father’s and Mama’s examples of tangible love and wisdom that Corri and Betsy were able to thrive in the worst of circumstances. For example, because Father read Scripture aloud to the family every evening, Corrie and Betsy knew the treasure of reading Scripture aloud to their prison mates every night. Because Mama provided meals and clothing for others even when she herself was not feeling well, Corrie and Betsy were able to tangibly serve their prison mates despite their own discomfort.
During their years of pro-active love, Father and Mama could not have known the ways in which they were preparing their daughters for the future. But because two parents were faithful, two daughters helped to transform prison cells to sanctuaries, and convert hardened guards to forgiven friends.
No one wishes for their children to experience such tragedy, but may we all be like Father and Mama, equipping and inspiring our children to adore Scripture and serve other people… no matter what.