First Anne, now Corrie. This is the year for me to share with my girls some of the books–both fiction and non–that I hold dearest to my heart. April brought us to World War II in our history studies, and because I first read The Hiding Place myself when I was about the age of Lulu, who will be twelve next week, I decided to read it aloud to them. I did this with only a slight bit of trepidation because I wondered if time had softened the harshness of the Ten Booms’ story in my mind. Both girls have read a good bit on their own about the time period, though neither has read anything (to my knowledge) that has intimated to them the real horrors of the Nazi regime, etc. (I don’t overly censor their reading–over the past year I’ve really loosened the reins on letting them pick their own reading materials, but I would probably draw the line at something that is explicit about wartime atrocities.)
Although I have read and re-read The Hiding Place, it had been years since the last time I’d read it. It is just as wonderful as I remember it being. I’ve read devotional books by Corrie, some of her other books (Tramp for the Lord, In My Father’s House, and others), and whatever else about her I could get my hands on. I consider her and her entire family true heroes, so sharing her with my girls was a genuine delight to me. More than that, I was once again touched and amazed by the Ten Booms’ simple faith and obedience. Now that I’ve lived over forty years on this earth, knowing that there were (and, please God, are) people who practice this sort of faithfulness is both encouraging and convicting to me. It was a curious thing for me to read it again at this point in my life. Their story seemed much shorter–I remembered a much lengthier and more detailed narrative. I also confess to more cynicism at this point in my life than I’m comfortable living with, so the Ten Booms’ childlike faith was, again, encouraging and convicting.
These days, especially when I’m sharing my own very-most-favorite-books-ever, I am having a hard time writing what I consider worthwhile reviews (or thoughts or whatever one might call this ramble). I mean, what can I say about this book that I’ve read and re-read–doesn’t everyone already know all about it? I’ll close by simply saying that if you haven’t read The Hiding Place, read it. (1971)
This is my original copy of the book. In my mind’s eye I can see my pre-adolescent self walking back to the back of our long-since-closed Christian bookstore in my hometown and reaching up to an eye-level shelf and taking this then brand-new paperback down and purchasing it. Its pages are fragile now and its cover is brittle, but what memories it holds!
I suppose next on our to-be-watched list is the movie version of the Ten Booms’ story. I also should share with my girls the fabulous website devoted to all things Corrie where we can watch a virtual tour of the Beje and its environs and learn even more about the family and their experiences.
Highly, highly Recommended.