Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Betsie ten Boom

“And I saw it all, still I chose the cross” – Out of Hiding, song by Steffany Gretzinger

Yes, yes, it’s a great song, but I don’t want it stuck in my head at the moment; I just want to read.

I had been reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom and I couldn't put it down. (If you plan on reading this book there are some spoilers on the way, just a heads up!)

“And I saw it all, still I chose the cross”

There it was again, a line from a song that I listened to the previous night. It kept playing in my head over and over again as I read about Corrie’s life in the concentration camp during World War II. At this point in the book I was in awe of Betsie, Corrie’s sister who went to the camps with her. The way she lived and loved and extended grace was so much like Jesus it floored me. How could someone live that way with such unthinkable hatred and cruelty around her?

Then she died.

No. Betsie couldn’t die. She had to survive! She had to make it out alive! There was so much God was speaking to her. They killed her. They did.

          “And I saw it all, still I chose the cross”

No. Corrie had to just stand watch as her sister, her kind, gentle sister died. She didn't deserve it! They killed Betsie, they left Corrie alone! They did, they did, they…

I died for Hitler.

The still small voice that whispered to Betsie in the concentration camp whispered to me in my living room.

“And I saw it all, still I chose the cross”

That’s when the tears really started rolling. I listen to all these sweet songs about how Jesus loves me and died for me and I decided at some point along the way that Jesus didn't die for the really bad people. (Yeah... It doesn’t make sense, I know.) What Hitler did was evil; he allowed evil to triumph over millions. But Jesus still died for him, he told me so. He loved him and hoped for him and longed for him to come close. Just like he does for you, just like he does for me. Just like he did for Betsie ten Boom.
What used to be lined with barracks for prisons  is now a vacant piece of land of the Ravensbruck concentration camp, the camp that Bestie Ten Boom died at. I had the opportunity to walk the paths of Ravensbruck and go through the memorials; it's a day I'll never forget.
Like the lyrics? Click here to check out Staffany Gretzinger's album, The Undoing.

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