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QUOTE (Corrie ten Boom) – Feb 28

February 28, 2014

Corrie ten Boom, "The Hiding Place"

Corrie ten Boom, “The Hiding Place” (Photo credit: Corrie ten Boom Museum)

“Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: ‘A fine message, Fräulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!’  And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course—how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women?

But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.

‘You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,’ he was saying, ‘I was a guard there.’  No, he did not remember me.  ‘But since that time,’ he went on, ‘I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein,’ again the hand came out—’will you forgive me?’  And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?

It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.

English: Betsie, Nollie, Casper, Willem, Corne...For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’  I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.

And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’

And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’

For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then.”

~ Corrie ten Boom, “I’m Still Learning to Forgive”

In honor of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian and Holocaust survivor, who on this day in 1944 was arrested by Nazi police for hiding Jews.

Resources:
This Day in History – February 28
Corrie ten Boom Story on Forgiving

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35 comments

  1. Reblogged this on This Profound Mystery … and commented:
    Forgiveness may be the most powerful enactment of love in the world.


  2. Forgiveness is only popular to those willing to forgive. But it’s the critical component of truly living the life Christ died for us to live.


  3. Reblogged this on Maidservant and commented:
    I’m posting a blog post from JDBlom. I read this recently and it helped me to keep things in perspective, as we look to be forgiven by God but have a hard time forgiving, say, our own children.


  4. I teach this book every year and every year I’m struck anew with tCorrie and Betsie. What inspiring women. Can’t wait to meet them!


  5. Reblogged this on I love the Psalms.


  6. Forgiveness in such circumstances is an enormous challenge to one’s faith. I hope I am never tested in this way, but if I am tested even in a small matter, may I forgive with God’s grace.


  7. Reblogged this on Virtual Vitamins and commented:
    This is the first time I’ve ever reblogged anything, but this particular story is one of absolutely powerful significance. Corrie was awesome, because of the awesome Lord she served with her whole heart.


  8. This is by far one of the most memorable ten Boom stories! What a lesson of transparency she was and how her story has blessed so many, including me. Thanks for the reminder.


  9. Reblogged this on Drawing from the Word and commented:
    If you have never read anything by Corrie ten Boom this is your chance to catch a glimpse!


  10. I am one who begs FOR forgiveness. I have not so much need TO forgive as to be forgiven. HE has granted it in Jesus’ name! I love Him and I love my dear ones who struggle with forgiving me. I don’t blame you. God knows and He supports both of us – all of us! I love you!


  11. Let forgiveness set you free. A powerful message in an amazing story.


  12. She was a remarkable woman, and a remarkable witness for the love of Christ and the power of forgiveness.


  13. This is a beautiful story, about a beautiful woman. Thanks for sharing it.


  14. Read this before; love the testimony of this woman. One of the most powerful I’ve ever known.


  15. She was an amazing woman! I loved reading Hiding Places and will read it again I am sure.


  16. One of my favorite books. Thanks for the reminder. Words to live by.


  17. […] Quote: Corrie Ten Boom (A Devoted Life) If she can forgive, how can I withhold forgiveness? […]


  18. Thank you for reminding me of this. It has been years since I had read it. Forgiveness is the heart of the Gospel. What a Savior we have in Christ! How could we ever be callous to others knowing the forgiveness that we have from Him.


  19. I was talking to a friend about this part of Corrie’s life just this week. An amazing woman of God


  20. I love the story of Corrie’s life and have learned so much from her writings. Thank you for sharing!


  21. What a powerful witness she had. I remember going to see the movie, The Hiding Place and the book. I guess it was the first time that I could put emotions and reality together with that time in history. Her writings and interviews and such gave hope–give hope for all of us. A strong lady full of undying devotion who could forgive….the lesson we are to learn and practice each day. 🙂 She is one of my favorites.


  22. What a testimony of forgiveness! I had to forgive someone for an unthinkable act and I knew in the flesh I could not. I cried out to God for His strength to forgive and God spoke, “If I can forgive Paul for what he did to my people, you can also forgive.” Forgiveness frees the soul. Amen!


  23. I have heard this story of hers before. In other accounts she talked about how she forgave, but like a bell that takes a while to stop ringing after you quit pulling the cord, it took a while for her bitterness to go away after she forgave. I think that is a very accurate account. Great story to share!


  24. Reblogged this on The Bitter Worshipper and commented:
    You will never know God’s love so deeply as when you forgive. You will never see Him, living and breathing in your heart, more than that moment where you let go of the hurts done to you.


  25. Reblogged this on Lillie-Put and commented:
    This story has urged me on to forgiveness during some of the hardest moments of my life. If she could do it, so can I!


  26. Reblogged this on Revelling In the Overflowing Grace of God and commented:
    I don’t often reblog, but the testimony of God’s power of forgiveness in this story is unequaled anywhere. It makes me weep every time I read it.


  27. Every time I read or hear this story, it brings tears to my eyes. What a compelling testimony.


  28. Reblogged this on The Peanut Gallery.


  29. This powerful testimony has been a guide for me through my years of Christianity. Thanks for sharing it with us. I would like to reblog it . May I?


    • Joseph – Please feel free to reblog. It would be appreciated.


  30. Reblogged this on Threshold of Heaven.


  31. Reblogged this on verawrites and commented:
    Forgiveness is one of God’s most powerful forces in the lives of human beings. Corrie ten Boom did – will you?



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