GOD, grace of
When Corrie Ten Boom of The Hiding Place fame was a little girl in Holland, her first
realization of death came after a visit to the home of a neighbor who had died. It
impressed her that some day her parents would also die. Corrie's father comforted her with
words of wisdom. "Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your
ticket?" "Why, just before we get on the train," she replied.
"Exactly," her father said, "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."
Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 30.
An atheist said, "If there is a God, may he prove himself by striking me dead
right now." Nothing happened. "You see, there is not God." Another
responded, "You've only proved that He is a gracious God."
Longing to leave her poor Brazilian neighborhood, Christina wanted to see the world.
Discontent with a home having only a pallet on the floor, a washbasin, and a wood-burning
stove, she dreamed of a better life in the city. One morning she slipped away, breaking
her mother's heart. Knowing what life on the streets would be like for her young,
attractive daughter, Maria hurriedly packed to go find her. On her way to the bus stop she
entered a drugstore to get one last thing. Pictures. She sat in the photograph booth,
closed the curtain, and spent all she could on pictures of herself. With her purse full of
small black-and-white photos, she boarded the next bus to Rio de Janiero. Maria knew
Christina had no way of earning money. She also knew that her daughter was too stubborn to
give up. When pride meets hunger, a human will do things that were before unthinkable.
Knowing this, Maria began her search. Bars, hotels, nightclubs, any place with the
reputation for street walkers or prostitutes. She went to them all. And at each place she
left her picture--taped on a bathroom mirror, tacked to a hotel bulletin board, fastened
to a corner phone booth. And on the back of each photo she wrote a note. It wasn't too
long before both the money and the pictures ran out, and Maria had to go home. The weary
mother wept as the bus began its long journey back to her small village.
It was a few
weeks later that young Christina descended the hotel stairs. Her young face was tired. Her
brown eyes no longer danced with youth but spoke of pain and fear. Her laughter was
broken. Her dream had become a nightmare. A thousand times over she had longed to trade
these countless beds for her secure pallet. Yet the little village was, in too many ways,
too far away. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, her eyes noticed a familiar face.
She looked again, and there on the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother.
Christina's eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked across the room and removed
the small photo. Written on the back was this compelling invitation. "Whatever you
have done, whatever you have become, it doesn't matter. Please come home." She did.
Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Multnomah
Press, 1986, pp. 158-9.