Why can’t I find Corrie ten Boom books in my library? This Dutch girl was part of a family that hid Jews in their Haarlem home during WW2. Betrayed by her countrymen, they ended up in camps and she wrote amazing stories of hope and God’s Hand through the darkness (eg. “The Hiding Place“/”De Schuilplaats”).
When touring the home (free and I highly recommend) the guide pointed out a framed embroidery of Mess. Hundreds of tangled threads hung midair and I longed to shift and organize them to make sense of a pattern. If I remember correctly, the guide asked:
“Does God always grant us what we ask for in prayer? Not always. Sometimes *He says ‘No.’ That’s because God knows what we don’t– He can see what’s around the corner, good and bad…”
She flipped the cloth to reveal an elaborately embroidered crown. Intricately stitched, manifold colors, gold, silver and pearls. I marveled,
The “wrong” side is Chaos, but might there be some hope? Some Sense?
We witness and experience mess, brokenness, crap and struggle constantly. And we’re often our own biggest criticizer to boot.
Might God see the Flipside exclusively?
Didn’t *He call to Gideon while he was hiding in a winepress, saying ‘Hey, Mighty Warrior!’ (Judges 6:12)? Didn’t Jesus give Simon the nickname “Peter” (Rock) saying, On you I’ll build my church!‘ –before Simon denied even knowing Jesus repeatedly (Matthew 16:18)?
Do we even imagine we are heroes? Or has self-condemnation or circumstance squeezed out hope or joy?
In one story, ten Boom described being in a section of barracks fraught with fleas. Her sister Betsie encouraged her to thank God even for these, but it was too much for Corrie. How on earth do we thank God for these itching, biting, horrible fleas?? Are you Insane?
Later we learn it was these fleas that kept the guards from entering their section, and thus the guards never learned of the secret prayer and bible sharing meetings the women had. Seriously high offenses.
You may feel you’re hiding in a winepress, or going through a season of fleas. You may feel you’re in no way living up to the expectations or hopes of others, God– even yourself. The dream may be buried…
But remember that embroidered crown. You may not have the full picture. And seeds burst forth from the dark…
If God is Love, and if God is our Real Parent, then we’ve got to believe there are rainbows after the storms…
Here’s a list of some other posts that may boost you. And a Superman Identify post here.
–God is Always Looking to Honor You: A Tale of Two Sauls
–The Stars Are Always Shining, Even if You Can’t See Them
–Cinderella: Present yet Invisible- Keep Hope in Despair
–When the Ball Blows Away – God Cares about the Little Things
–Are You the Black Sheep? God Get’s You
–Show Up or Stay the Same
–DANCE – Shake it Off Therapy from Taylor Swift
I use He and His as simple pronouns for God but fully recognize Him with male and female identity–as evidenced throughout the bible and most blatantly in humanity. 2-part post, Transgender God, starts here.
Cover photo, crown embroidery from Corrie Ten Boom House, Harlem, The Netherlands.