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Last week, you all discussed Chapter 2 of Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. This time last week, I was on my knees on cold linoleum, holding the hand of one of our veteran book discussion members as he walked into Jesus’s arms. And powerlessness was certainly one of the things I felt. It’s impossible to sit at the bedside of a dying loved one and not feel powerless. You watch their strength wane and their breaths shallow, knowing there is nothing you can do.

But in Chapter 2, Corrie tells the story of realizing, as a child, that one day, her beloved father would die. She examines the panic and fear she felt, and how she carried that tearfully to her father. And he responds in a way that was comforting not just to Corrie all of those years ago, but also to me, a week ago.

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.” (ebook location 654)

The last two weeks, walking through the end stages of cancer and hospice care with Rick and his wife, I recognized my fear, my sadness, and my powerlessness. And God taught me some things about how to deal with that powerlessness.

  1. My experience was that often, my emotions were too difficult to put into words. I fell back on what I knew by heart – hymns. And for hours, sat quietly singing them as prayers. I don’t know if anyone else noticed. But I know that they were something to hold onto that made me feel better. I felt the support of the Lord in them. I felt that He was there listening. And that even though I wasn’t able to put together eloquent or powerful prayers, God was hearing me.
  2. Recently, I read a quote by Ann Voskamp that was right on the money. She said, “The secret way to heal a broken heart is to let love leak out like an ocean through all the cracks.” And for me, love looks an awful lot like service. It looks like wiping down a fevered face with a cold cloth. It looks like making a cup of coffee for a new widow who is too overwhelmed to pour her own cream. And in Chapter 3 of our book, I see that Corrie is also able to identify with my feelings, as she helplessly watches her sick aunt fading.

 “I would linger in that narrow passage under the eaves, yearning to say something, to heal something. Wanting to love her better.” (ebook location 709)

  1. I don’t understand why God takes whom He takes and when. I don’t need to understand it. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry. When we come full circle and go back to prayer (see #1 above), telling God our honest feelings, He can use them to heal us, teach us, and bring us closer to Him.

This post is part of our weekly book discussion on Corrie Ten Boom’s classic book, “The Hiding Place.” You don’t have to read the book to stick around and chat, but if you did write a response to this chapter, please link up your post at the widget below. Then, go visit my co-facilitator, Jason, to see what he has to say.

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About Sarah Salter


  1. Oh this is just so true. Someday in the hearafter, some part of me thinks we will remember all these time down here and somehow it will magnify (if that’s even possible) our joy up there. I love Corrie Ten Boom. I will never forget the first time I read The Hiding Place. I know your heart is already leaking out love Sarah! Bless you. Lori

  2. Barbara Capps says:

    I liked what you said about the Hymns.. When I can’t sleep sometimes I run hymns through my head that I have know since I was old enough to talk..And yes there is so much in the old hymns that we can hold on too..Praise songs are good, but the old hymns have “guts” as I call it.. They seem to sooth and calm you when you need it most.. Love this book.. Thanks for sharing…

  3. All I can say is “amen.” I’m so thankful for this truth. If we humble ourselves and cast our anxiety on Him, He is more than able to save. He lifts us up at the proper time. Thanks Sarah.

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