After hearing about it on one of many blogs I follow (Simcha, was it you?) during Lent I decided I wanted to read The Hiding Place the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie – two sisters who helped with the underground movement of Jews during WWII and were imprisoned as a result. Their story of faith and the grace of maintaining an outlook of gratitude throughout their time in prison and concentration camps was an inspiring and heartbreaking story.
What initially caught my attention in that original blog post still struck me mid-story, as I was listening to it on audio book. Betsie was able to praise God even in the most dire of her circumstances – even amid the fleas of their bunker in the concentration camp. She had a selfless attitude about generosity that was unmatched and Corrie was able to learn a lot from her sister’s humble guidance in this area of life.
And now another book I’m reading for work, The Anatomy of Peace, mentioned the same book in passing. This second book is all about examining whether you have a heart at peace or a heart a war and how that influences our interactions with people. It brings to light relationships where I am on the defensive immediately and those where I am able to more easily brush off criticism or differences of opinion because I am seeing that person as a person and not as a means to some end or an obstacle in my way.
I certainly don’t know why these two books are coinciding right now. But their themes give me a lot to think about. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about gratitude and how that has the power to transform my attitude about things I do not like in my life currently. Do I take the time and make the effort to praise God for the nasties in my life or only the happy things? I dare say, I don’t like my current answer. But like Corrie, hopefully I can learn from Betsie’s ability to be grateful despite their circumstances.
What are the things you do to be more grateful and recognize God’s gifts more?