I just picked up ‘The Hiding Place’, flipped somewhere near the middle, and started reading a bit. I’ve heard it’s a great book, and know the story line, but that’s it.
Betsie and Corrie are in a Nazi concentration camp. (Forgive me if I get some of the details wrong. I haven’t actually read the book.) One of the worst women’s camps during the War, if I remember correctly. I’ll leave you to imagine the details – they’re pretty brutal. Anyway, the two of them, along with a lot of other prisoners, are shoveling up mud (for some useless purpose of some sort). A guard comes along and starts shouting at Betsie because of how little work she is accomplishing (because she’s really weak). Throughout this encounter with the guard, Betsie is whipped across the neck. Corrie tries to defend her, but Betsie stops her, telling her not to mind it.
And then the book says this ‘A read stain appeared on Betsie’s collar; a welt began to swell on her neck. Betsie saw where I was looking and laid a bird-thin hand over the whip mark. “Don’t look at it, Corrie. Look at Jesus only.” She drew away her hand: it was sticky with blood.’
“Look at Jesus only”. I can’t get over. Seriously, I’m not just trying to be dramatic or anything. I’m just amazed at how she could say that. Christ had to be the most beautiful thing to her.
It sounds strange to say that, because she didn’t have anything else beautiful in her life to look at. But it seems like we make ourselves think at times that ugly things are beautiful. Actually, beautiful isn’t the word that I mean right there. More like pleasant, perhaps. Here’s what I mean. Suppose, you were constantly thinking about how unhappy your life is. That’s not a very happy thought, but somehow it’s pleasant to you, because if it wasn’t you would spend your time making a list of how many happy things you have in your unpleasant life. You dwell on the thought (at least to some degree) because you enjoy doing so.
In the same way, Betsie could have spent time thinking on just how totally cruel these people were being. She could have secretly thought about how much she disliked them. If that’s what she had spent her time considering, you would think the thought brought her some pleasure. But it didn’t. Christ was the most beautiful one in her life. The only one she took pleasure in looking at.
Who or what do we find as the most beautiful thing in our life? Would it be our Savior?