Who is “The Wholehearted Woman”? (Part 2) ***Corrie Ten Boom: A Heart Inclined Toward God’s Word***

By: Jenni Walker

“I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, to the very end.”    Psalm 119:112

*          *          *          *          *

Last post we looked at how the Bible emphasizes again and again the theme of seeking the Lord with your whole heart.  God cares about your heart, and He wants every part of it!  Today’s post explores how important it is to INCLINE, or orient, our hearts toward the Word of God – His truth, His testimonies, His ways.  Let’s take a look at the example provided for us by the life of Corrie Ten Boom:

“Behind us guards were shouting, prodding us with their guns.  Instinctively my hand went to the string around my neck.  From it, hanging down my back between my shoulder blades, was the small cloth bag that held our Bible, that forbidden Book which had not only sustained Betsie and me throughout these months, but given us strength to share with our fellow prisoners.  So far we had kept it hidden…”  (Tramp for the Lord, p. 13)

So begins chapter one of Corrie Ten Boom’s book, Tramp for the Lord.  You may be more familiar with her book The Hiding Place.  She provides one of the most precious examples to me of a woman with her heart inclined fully toward the Word of God in all circumstances.  Corrie was a Dutch woman who, along with the rest of her family, hid Jews in their home who were at risk of being arrested and sent to concentration camps during World War II.  Her family was discovered, however, and they, too, were arrested and imprisoned.  While in a Dutch prison, Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were able to smuggle in a small Bible with them.  But soon they would be transported to one of the most horrific concentration camps in Germany at that time: Ravensbruck.

“’Ravensbruck!’  Like a whispered curse, the word passed back through the line.  This was the notorious women’s death camp itself, the very symbol to Dutch hearts of all that was evil.  As we stumbled down the hill, I felt the little Bible bumping on my back.  As long as we had that, I thought, we could face even hell itself.”  (p. 14-15)

Upon arrival at Ravensbruck, all female prisoners had to go through a long and harrowing prison inspection.  By the faithful hand of God, Corrie’s little Bible made it through the ordeal, unseen and untouched by the guards.  She writes of the experience, “So Betsie and I came to our barracks at Ravensbruck.  Before long we were holding clandestine Bible study groups for an ever-growing group of believers, and Barracks 28 became known throughout the camp as ‘the crazy place, where they hope.’  Yes, hoped, in spite of all that human madness could do.  We had learned that a stronger power had the final word, even here.”  (p. 16)

This story poignantly demonstrates how a love of the Bible is foundational to our Christian faith.  Although we may never have need to smuggle a Bible into a concentration camp, we, too, can be wholehearted women of God like Corrie Ten Boom and her sister, inclining our hearts toward God’s Word in all that we do.

*          *          *          *          *