“If you look at the world, you’ll become distressed.” Corrie Ten Boom
A Word of Hope
Wisdom from a Dutch Watch Shop
I have been engaged lately in reflective readings derived from quotations of the Christian writer, Corrie Ten Boom. She grew up in her father’s Amsterdam watch shop/home. During Nazi control of the city, her family provided shelter and care for many Jewish families until her family was betrayed and sent to a concentration camp. She was able to survive (her family died), and in adult life she became a Christian author and world-wide lecturer.
Today, I’m considering her quote: “If you look at the world, you’ll become distressed.” This has never been more relavant than in our current time when 24/7 news and opinion comes raining down on us via television and social media. Will this downpour never slow to a trickle? “If you look within yourself to solve problems, you’ll become depressed.” What can one person, like me, do in order to set things right? You can do your small part, but the whole of the problem is so great. How do you start? It’s depressing that all you can do is only a tiny, and maybe inconsequential, effort to correct things.
“If you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.” In the midst of this dust storm of conflict, don’t seek to find the world’s answer to the mess; rather, seek Christ’s desire for living your life within the confusion. Jesus understands better your potential and will guide and empower you to live a lifestyle which is beneficial to others. And you’ll realize that your contribution to the peaceful solution will be exactly right; whether it be small or great. Her words are worth repeating: “If you look at the world, you’ll become distressed. If you look within yourself to solve the problems, you’ll become depressed. If you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”
Corrie Ten Boom also tells us, “Happiness is not dependent on certain events happening; rather, on relationships in those happenings.” In her book, Tramp for the Lord, she told of her experience traveling through the countryside of South Korea in the 1960s. Her car passed by a very poor shack made of cardboard, pieces of assorted tin and scrap wood. But a lovely voice could be heard singing from it. It was such a beautiful voice, pure like the melody of a skylark. She asked her travel guide if he recognized the song. “Yes”, he responded, “it says, Where Jesus is, tis heaven there.”
A close and abiding relationship with Christ will bring true happiness into even the darkest situation, because his relationship offers us the uplifting melody of deep, soul peace. And that’s quite a beautiful melody!
My Lord Jesus, as I walk through this day’s multiplicity of activities and distractions, focus my heart to be ever present to you; for the one thing in which my heart can rest is you. Soften my heart and open my eyes to behold your loving presence all around me today. Strengthen my resolve to do your will so that the world may rejoice and give praise to you. Amen.
Donald (Luke) Day
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare