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Corrie ten Boom, Anne Frank: Let Their Stories Show What God Can Do Through Your Life

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Of all the true stories from World War II, the ones of Corrie ten Boom and Anne Frank are possibly the best known worldwide. While they didn’t know it at the time of their suffering, their stories and experiences have greatly shaped our world today.


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A tapestry is a thick, woven beautiful design or picture. The backside of a tapestry looks nothing like the front: the back looks like a complete chaotic mess. When you only see the back, you can’t make the connection of what beauty the front holds.

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The real stories of Anne and Corrie remind us what our lives—both the dark, suffering threads and the bright, happy threads—create together, through the hand’s weaving a beautiful tapestry on the front. We may only see the back side what can seem a chaotic mess, but God sees the woven masterpiece on the front all throughout.

Anne Frank’s Tapestry—’Living After Her Death’

If you remember the story of Anne Frank, you will recall she passed much of her two-year confinement in silent hiding inside the attic of her father’s warehouse building by writing in her beloved diary. From her diary, we get the first-hand glimpse of the unthinkable predicament of living on edge—most of the day in silence—in constant fear no one finds you and completely dependent on the kindness of others.

Her diary is cut short by their greatest fear—the Gestapo invading the warehouse and finding all eight people in the Secret Annex. The Nazis destroyed everything in the Annex, but Anne’s diary escaped being destroyed. After the War, her father—the only family survivor—returned to the Annex and found Anne’s diary.

Anne loved writing and wanted to become a famous writer after the war. In her diary on April 5, 1944, she boldly stated, “I want to go on living even after my death!” At that time, she could have no idea how true this statement would be in a way she would not fathom.

Though her life was cut short and she did not get to grow up, her words on April 5 continue to live long after her death. What a profound thought that indeed her greatest desire came true: her writing would become one of the most widely read books by people all over the world.

Anne’s life had some incredibly dark threads woven through her life tapestry for reasons she couldn’t comprehend. However, even these dark events have been used as something bright to help encourage and inspire millions of people. Her greatest desire came true, but not in the way she thought or probably would have chosen.

Corrie ten Boom’s Tapestry—’A Worldwide Ministry Tramping for the Lord’

The ten Boom family owned a watch shop in Haarlem, Netherlands before and during World War II. The ten Booms had a long family history of being Christians and showing support for the Jewish community. While the Nazis were rounding up Jews to send to concentration camps throughout the Netherlands and all over Europe, the ten Booms were bravely hiding Jews in their house above their watch shop. They and many others across Europe hid Jews, helped people escape safely or helped get ration cards for those in hiding during Nazi occupation.

 

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Their help to Jews in hiding came to a screeching halt on February 28, 1944, when their home was invaded by Nazis. This raid did not catch the Jews in hiding in their house, but Corrie, her father, two sisters and brother along with several other people in the Resistance were sent to prison.

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Corrie and her whole family suffered greatly in prison. They were beaten along with suffering unimaginable living conditions. Corrie was the only one in her family who survived through prison, and afterward, she traveled sharing her message of forgiveness and love to those who tortured her.

However, this did not come naturally to her; she had to work through bitterness and unforgiveness for those that hurt her and others she loved. She stated only through the Lord was she able to forgive those that tortured her. After the war, most of her days were spent traveling (tramping) the globe telling how God worked in these dark times of her life.

Corrie often quoted The Weaver (Tapestry) poem by Grant Colfax Tullar to summarize how her (and our) life is a tapestry.

My life is but a weaving
between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors,
He works so steadily.
Oft times He weaves in sorrow,
and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
and I the underside.

 Not till the loom is silent,
and the shutters cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weavers skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.