Sunday, February 1, 2009

Teaching Moments

For one of my classes I am reading this book called "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. This book is about a family and there has been several times when the father has had an opportunity to teach his daughter something, I know that this is just a book, but it is based on real events in the author's life and I am still impressed with how well the father is able to understand and to teach his daughter.

The first moment is when the daughter was ten or eleven, she had read a poem in school where is said something about sexsin, she was curious about what it meant and had first asked her mother, her mother had turned scarlet red and had not responded. So next Corrie (the daughter) asked her father, I think that it will work better if I just type it out rather than paraphrase it.
"So the line had stuck in my head. "Sex," I was pretty sure meant whether you were a boy or a girl, and "sin" made Tante Jans very angry, but what the together meant I could not imagine. And so, seated next to Father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sexsin?"
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor.
"Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
"It's too heavy," I said.
"Yes," he said. "And it would be a pretty poor father whoe would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.
And I as satisfied. More than satisfied--wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions--for now, I was content to leave them in my father's keeping."

The next moment when he had a chance to teach his daughter was when Corrie, her sister, and her mother had gone to a home where a baby had died, her mother was taking a basket of food to the young mother who had lost her baby. While Corrie's mother went to the young mother Corrie and her sister touched the baby that was sitting in the crib. She came home and later as she was getting ready for bed, her father came to tuck her into bed.
"It was strange that a society that hid the facts of sex from children made no effort to shield them from death. I stood staring at the tiny unmoving form with my heart thudding strangely against my ribs. Nollie (her sister), always braver than I, stretched out her hand and touched the ivory-white cheek, I lonved to do it too, but hung back, afraid. For a while, curiosity and terror struggled in me. At last I put one finger on the small curled hand.
It was cold.
Cold as we walked back to the Beje, cold as I washed for supper, cold even in the snug gas-lit dining room. Between me and each familiar face around the table crept those small icy fingers. For all Tante Jans's talk about it, death had been only a word. Now I knew that it could really happen--if to the baby, then to Mama, to Father, to Betsie!
Still shivering with that cold, I followed Nollie up to our room and crept into bed beside her. At last we heard Father's footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the blankets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe.
But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. "I need you!" I sobbed. "You can't die! You can't!"
Beside me on the bed, Nollie sat up. "We went to see Mrs. Hoog," she explained. "Corrie didn't even eat her supper or anything."
Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam--when do I give you your ticket?"
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
"Why, just before we get on the train."
"Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need--just in time."


  1. I read this book a couple months ago. The story was inspiring. The writing was awful. I debated the whole book if it was worth finishing. It badly needed an editor.

  2. I LOVE that book! I gave it 5 stars in my GoodReads account, and I'm a star stinge.