Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hiding Place - Review

I grew up with my mom talking about The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon.  She told and retold several of the stories until I felt like I had already read the book.  In my university ethics class, the professor referenced Corrie Ten Boon's ethical disagreements with her sister about whether it is ever OK to lie - even when lying might protect a human life.  Corrie Ten Boon's story has taken on the aura of a modern Christian legend.
As I picked up the book to read, I honestly had a mixture of interest and skepticism.  The interest came from the recognition that it must be a classic for a reason, and I guess the skepticism came from the postmodern distrust of easy answers from modernism.  Both my interest and my skepticism were rewarded, though not in equal measure. 
I was entranced by the story of Corrie's Dutch family's resistance to Nazism through underground work and care for the weak.  This was one of those books that I found myself reading at every spare minute at home.  Also, the way Corrie's family engages their faith in a good God while evil triumphs temporarily was fascinating and heart-warming.
A few times, though, I found myself uncomfortable with Corries sense that God was working in the tiny details of her life.  I heard the echos of my doubting friends in my head.  "If God could miraculously smuggle a Bible into her prison cell, why didn't he just eliminate the prison all together?" 
However, the co-existence of obvious tiny miracles and huge evils pushed me toward humility in determining what God should do in our world.  This juxtaposition pushed on me the realization that God can't always do what God wants to do because we humans often resist his desires. 
Also, Corrie found that even problems like fleas in their concentration camp barracks could become blessings (annoying critters that kept the even more bothersome German guards away).  Again, this pushed me toward humility - realizing that we often cannot see the total picture of what is good or bad for us at a given time.  The best response to all our circumstances is joyful trust in our Father - even if that does seem irrational or even lame at times.
This is a very good read, and although I don't agree with her perspective 100% percent, I certainly agree with and am inspired by her heart and life.
The Josh rating: JJJJ.

Post a Comment