From: “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom:
“Corrie, write to me!” he said, but not gaily. Pleadingly. “Write me about the Beje! I want to know everything. I want every detail of that ugly, beautiful, crumbling old house! Write about your father, Corrie! Write how he forgets to send the bills. Oh Corrie, it’s the happiest home in Holland!”
And so it was, indeed, when Father, Mama, Betsie, Nollie, Tante Anna and I returned. It had always been a happy place, but now each little event seemed to glow because I could share it with Karel. Every meal I cooked was an offering to him, each shining pot a poem, every sweep of the broom an act of love.
His letters did not come as often as mine went singing to him, but I put this down to his work. The minister he was assisting, he wrote, had turned the parish calling over to him: it was a wealthy congregation and large contributors expected frequent and unhurried visits from the clergy.
As time went by his letters came more seldom. I made up for it with mine and went humming my way through the summer and fall. One glorious, nippy November day when all of Holland was singing with me, the doorbell rang. I was washing the lunch dishes in the kitchen, but I ran through the dining room and down the steps before the rest of the family could stir.
I flung open the alley door and there was Karel.
Beside him was a young woman.
She stood smiling at me. I took in the hat with its sweeping feather, the ermine collar, the white-gloved hand resting on his arm. Then a blur seemed to move over the scene, for Karel was saying, “Corrie, I want you to meet my fiancée.”
I must have said something. I must have led them up to Tante Jans’s front room that we used now as a parlor. I only recall how my family came to the rescue, talking, shaking hands, taking coats, finding chairs, so that I would not have to do or say anything. Mama broke even her own record for making coffee. Tante Anna passed cakes. Betsie engaged the young woman in a discussion of winter fashions and Father pinned Karel in a corner with questions of the most international and impersonal nature. What did he make of the news that President Wilson was sending American troops to France?
Somehow the half-hour passed. Somehow I managed to shake her hand, then Karel’s hand, and to wish them every happiness. Betsie took them down to the door. Before it clicked shut I was fleeing up the stairs to my own room at the top of the house where the tears could come.
How long I lay on my bed sobbing for the one love of my life I do not know. Later, I heard Father’s footsteps coming up the stairs. For a moment I was a little girl again waiting for him to tuck the blankets tight. But this was a hurt that no blanket could shut out, and suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say “There’ll be someone else soon,” and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. For in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not – soon or ever – be anyone else.
The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words.
“Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.”
“There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
“God loves Karel – even more than you do – and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.”
I did not know, as I listened to Father’s footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this – places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.
Anyone who knows me well can tell you: I am all about truth, even when it’s hard and painful. Tonight, for the first time since the bombing of the marathon, I need God’s help to love Dzhokhar. It is his commitment to Islam that is killing me.
When I read Dzhokhar’s wish list of books, I knew. His single-minded commitment to devote himself to the study of Islam is blocking my love, for I can never support a religion that teaches deception is not only permissible, but advisable in certain circumstances.
I am saddened and repulsed by a religion that teaches:
Qur’an (5:51) “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
Qur’an (3:28) “Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them…”
Muslims are allowed to feign friendship if it is of benefit. Believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly, but never inwardly. I find this idea repugnant.
Dzhokhar may be the kind, gentle, loving soul we have read about. But I worry who he might become if day after day, he feeds his mind, his heart, his spirit, with ideas like the ones above.
So much has been made of the fact that the Colorado Supermax is the harshest, most secure prison in the country. I say the ADX is nothing compared to the mental strongholds of any religion that promotes division, judgment and deceiving others.
May God help Dzhokhar in the battles that lie ahead, especially the ones he must fight within himself. And may God give me His eyes, His heart, His love for Dzhokhar. Not only is my weak human love no longer enough, I know now that it never was.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
The rest of the message of this post is in the song below.