Redemption is the science and the song of all eternity—Robert Pollok
THE Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, is one great story of love, forgiveness and redemption The Ten Boom family were imprisoned for work in the underground anti-Nazi movement. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, ended up at Ravensbruck death camp.
Eventually, four members of Corrie Ten Boom’s family would die as a result of imprisonment – her father, Casper, died ten days after his arrest, her nephew was sent to a different camp and was never seen again, her brother contracted spinal tuberculosis and died after the war, and her sister Betsie died in camp.
But Corrie Ten Boom survived her ordeal – not only physically, but spiritually as well. She wrote several best-selling books about redemption and forgiveness.
At 53, Corrie began a worldwide ministry – she travelled to over 60 countries and had numerous speaking engagements.
It was after speaking at a church service one night that she saw a former SS guard from Ravensbruck.
“He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time,” she later wrote. “And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.
“He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. ‘How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein’, he said….His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
”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’. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. ‘Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness’..
”As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.”
And so redemption came unexpectedly to Corrie Ten Boom and to the Nazi guard.
There is great power in redemption. We were created to experience it. It is surely the most glorious of all the works of God.