Legacy of Love, Part 2
Plan to Love
We talked often, Father, Betsie, and I, about what we could do if a chance should come to help some of our Jewish friends. We knew that Willem had found hiding places at the beginning of the occupation for the German Jews who had been living in his house. Lately he had also moved some of the younger Dutch Jews away from the nursing home. “Not my old people,” he would say. “surely they will not touch my old people.”
Willem had addresses. He knew of farms in rural areas where there were few occupying troops. Willem would be the one to ask. – From The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
If your name, your home, or your business came up in conversation. If you were the subject of a hypothetical game about who would hide and protect the innocent. What would the answer be? Corrie, Betsie, Willem, and their father Casper knew the answer because they lived it. They opened their door to need. And by the end of the war a little movement they began by just saying yes, turned into an underground resistance. They didn’t fight with guns, bombs, or blades, they fought with their love. It was love for God’s people that drove them to sacrifice their own livelihoods and lives for others. Hundreds of Jews escaped Nazi barbarism because of their decision to let people in.
It wasn’t just a knee jerk gut reaction out of the wild blue that caused the Ten Booms to open their home. It was a deliberate plan to love that had begun in the Ten Boom family when the patriarch Willem got on his knees and decided to pray for the Jews over a hundred years earlier. He taught his children to love and his children taught their children to love. And they followed through. Even today, that same Ten Boom watch shop in Haarlem is open. And do you know what they’re doing in there? They’re still praying. And they’re still loving.
Today let’s make a plan to love. Whether it’s a person on a street corner or a neighbor across the road. I pray we never see something like the Holocaust ever again. But if we do, we need to be ready to open our hearts and doors and let love in. Because if we don’t, I’m afraid we won’t. However, it doesn’t take tragedy to find opportunities to love. We were created to love. The opportunities are all around us. They’ll become readily apparent if we’re brave enough to sacrifice a little of ourselves to give love. But it takes a commitment beforehand. The Ten Booms had been unknowingly preparing for the Holocaust for a hundred years, through their prayers. Are we preparing today? Let’s plan to love. Let’s pray for love. There’s a good chance we’ll never know the difference we’ll make, but I guarantee we’ll make a difference.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Hebrews 3:2 (ESV)
May God Bless Your Love,