The Anchoress reminded me of a verse from the Evening Prayer of the Divine Office for Thursday Week I.
So let every good man pray to You
in the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high
they shall not reach him.
You are my hiding place, O Lord;
you save me from distress.
You surround me with cries of deliverance. (Psalm 32: 6-7)
When I read the words, “You are my hiding place,” Corrie ten Boom’s story,”The Hiding Place” came to mind. I was also reading Immaculee Ilibagiza’s book, “Left To Tell, Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.” Both Corrie’s story and Immaculee’s book leave vivid images of the faithfulness of God not only in the mind, but in the heart, . Neither tells the story of the proverbial rose garden that we all want. Corrie and Immaculee lose the people they love. Their homelands become unrecognizable.
Corrie introduces us to her sister, Betsie, who dies in the concentration camp. What I loved about Betsie was how she made a home in the midst of the horrific circumstances of the camp; cheery dish towels hung at the window. Betsie’s actual home was the hiding place she made in the heart of God. Betsie was prepared to die.
Immaculee’s book describes an actual hiding place, a bathroom that became a haven for her and seven other women for ninety-one days. It was here they hid, and silently prayed, while hundreds of crazed, “machete-wielding” neighbors sought to butcher them. Again, God proved to be the real hiding place.
The triumph of their stories is told by the transformed hearts of these women of faith. Their books are a witness to God’s faithfulness in times of desperation.