It’s one of those old books, you know, forgotten on the shelf of a thrift stores or in an old box in the garage.
But, not by me.
I’ll never forget the middle aged spinster who figured she’d live out her twilight years in the peace of the family home.
That possibility disappeared when the Germans invaded Poland.
Soon, ordinary people with bunions and old age pensions became masters at deception and subversive activities. They hid Jews from soldiers. Many of them ended up being a part of one of the most horrific crime scenes mankind has ever seen – WW2 concentration camps.
This book is the true story of Corrie Ten Boom’s faith in a world gone mad.
And, in a small way, it’s the story of Tante Jan who
- moved in with the Corrie’[s family when Tante Jan’s husband died.
- worked night and day writing fiery tracts proclaiming the gospel.
- fed the poor and helped clothe the underprivileged.
No wonder her zeal and intensity intimidated the rest of the family. They loved God,too, but no one could keep up with this woman.
Then, the Corrie Ten Boom family found out that Tante Jan had only months to live.
“We will tell her together,” Father decided, “though I will speak the necessary words. And perhaps . . . she will take heart from all she has accomplished. She puts great store on accomplishment, Jans does, and who knows but that she is right!”
And so the little procession filed up the steps to Tante Jan’s rooms. “Come in,” she called to Father’s knock, and added as she always did, “and close the door before I catch my death of drafts.”
. . . “My dear sister-in-law,” Father began gently, “there is a joyous journey which each of God’s children sooner or later sets out on. And, Jans, some must go to their Father empty-handed, but you will run to Him with hands full!”
“All your clubs . . . ,” Tante Anna ventured.
“Your writings . . . ,” Mama added.
“The funds you’ve raised . . . ,”said Betsie.
“Your talks . . . ,” I began.
But our well-meant words were useless. In front of us the proud face crumpled; Tante Jans put her hands over her eyes and began to cry. “Empty, empty!” she choked at last through her tears. “How can we bring anything to God? What does He care for our little tricks and trinkets?”
And then as we listened in disbelief she lowered her hands and with tears still coursing down her face whispered, “Dear Jesus, I thank You that we must come with empty hands. I thank You that You have done all—all—on the cross, and that all we need in life or death is to be sure of this.”
What can I say?
This book offers a lifetime of courage and wisdom.
Your faith will grow.