I had the great idea of having my kids write a book review of all the books that they read. It would take care of two things. 1st, I would have a killer blog post completely done and 2nd, it would give my kids a chance to do a book report. Win, win, right? Nope, I couldn't have been more wrong. My daughter read The Hiding Place, a book that luckily I have read before, and wrote me her book review. "The Hiding Place is a really good book." Seriously?!? That was it. The funny thing is that she really loved the book and she is great with details and writing, so I think I had unrealistic expectations when I asked her to whip out a book review with little, ok let's be honest, no instruction.
Have you read The Hiding Place? You should. It is heartbreaking and it is beautiful. It is one of those books that has the ability to change you; to make you want to be a better person, to love more, to forgive more. It made me feel like my little problems are not that big compared to what others have gone through.
The Hiding Place is the story of Corrie ten Boom. Corrie was a watch maker living in Holland. The story starts in 1937 where the family was getting ready to celebrate the 100th birthday of the family shop and a lot of the conversation revolves around the Jews that are fleeing to Holland.
Corrie and her family were not Jewish, they were Christian, but they knew that no one should be treated the way the Jewish people were being treated. They became involved in an underground movement during WWII. They risked their lives to help these people. Her sister, Betsie, had the most positive attitude about having faith and moving forward. I would love to have her courage.
The sisters eventually get sent to a concentration camp for their involvement. Their train ride still haunts me. When you sit and think about the logistics of being shoved in a train with so many people for so many hours. I honestly get a little choked up when I think how those people were treated like they weren't people at all.
After the war Corrie went around and spoke to several groups of people. One of them happened to be a German who had persecuted the people in the camp. Can you imagine the hate you would probably feel when you saw someone who had been so cruel? This is what Corrie thought as she had to talk to this man:
“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”
I can't recommend this book enough. My kids have read it when they have been in 5th or 6th grade. It has given us some great discussions! It is probably too deep of a topic for anyone under the 5th, 6th grade level, but if you feel like your kid is more mature then don't delay and have them read this!