Monday, March 27, 2017

The Highest Honor

I talk a lot about the Church being a people of God's mercy and delight. Here is another example of what that looks like:

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was devout Dutch Christian who worked to rescue Jews during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. She recounts an attempt to recruit a pastor to assist in offering refuge to those trying to escape the Holocaust:

Back in the dining room I pulled the coverlet from the baby’s face. There was a long silence. The man leaned forward, his hand in spite of himself reaching for the tiny fist curled around the blanket. For a moment I saw compassion and fear struggle in his face. The he straightened. “Definitely not. We could lose our lives for this Jewish child!” Unseen by either of us, Father had appeared in the doorway. “Give the child to me, Corrie,” he said. Father held the baby, his white beard brushing the little face. . . . At last he looked up at the pastor. “You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the highest honor that could come to my family.”

As it happened, Corrie’s father, Caspar ten Boom and other members of her family died in Nazi prison camps thereby receiving the honor of lying down their lives for the sake of the lives of others.

The ten Booms delighted in God and all other human beings, including those in whom it was inconvenient to delight, and thus they were prepared to extend mercy to those whose lives were threatened – even at the risk of their own safety and security. This is what it means to be a people of God’s mercy and delight. I pray that I and other Christians might more and more become such a people. I wonder how we might better form such a people.