Last year at Christmas, I wrote a blog post entitled, “Christmas 1944” about Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie’s story remains one of my favorites and I have a collection of five books written by or about Corrie Ten Boom. I wrote my post last year about the experience Corrie had in the Ravensbruck infirmary at Christmas time from her account in her most famous book, The Hiding Place.
But Corrie was a prolific writer in the second half of her life and she wrote many other books, including one about her Christmas memories called Corrie’s Christmas Memories.
In this book, Corrie recounts stories of happier Christmases spent with her family. She shares familiar struggles to remember the reason she works so hard and keeps a busy schedule through the stresses of the holiday season. But Corrie also delves a little more into her Christmas experiences in Ravensbruck.
“Dark it was in my heart, and darkness was around me”- Corrie Ten Boom, Corrie’s Christmas Memories
Corrie describes seeing “the saddest Christmas trees” she ever saw in her life in the street between the barracks of the concentration camp with dead bodies of prisoners under them.
She writes that she tried to talk with her fellow prisoners about Christmas, but she was mocked, ridiculed, and sneered at whenever she tried to share with others until she decided to remain silent.
But she didn’t remain silent about her faith for long. One night, she heard a child crying out in the middle of the night for her mother. Corrie went to the girl who was a fellow patient in the infirmary at Ravensbruck. Her name was Oelie and she was emaciated and had recently been operated on and there was a bandage of toilet paper covering the incision on her back. Corrie spent the rest of the night comforting the girl and sharing her faith in Christ with her and praying with her. In her own words, Corrie said, “Then I knew why I had to spend this Christmas in Ravensbruck in 1944.”
As I wrote in my post last year, Corrie was there in the infirmary because she was suffering from edema in her legs and her release from the concentration camp was dependent upon her getting the swelling down. But despite this fact, she still got up and ministered to those around her. This account in Corrie’s Christmas Memories combined with the full account of the time she spent in the Ravensbruck infirmary in The Hiding Place serves to remind us that hope and light can be found in even the bleakest of places where all hope seems lost if we hold on to our faith. Or as Corrie once put it, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Past Blog Posts about Corrie Ten Boom: