Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Except for the occasional Jesus tattoo sported by hipsters, very few Christians, especially in America, carry on their bodies actual evidence of their devotion to Christ. I know of no Christians among my circle of friends who have been whipped, imprisoned, or tortured for their faith. I have little doubt that many of these committed sisters and brothers would gladly pay that price for Jesus if they had to. I just never met anyone who had to.
I saw and heard such a woman speak in a church once about 40 years ago. Her name was Corrie ten Boom. She carried the “brand-marks of Jesus” on her body. While at the notorious Ravensbruck “death camp”, Corrie and her sister Betsie conducted Bible studies with fellow women prisoners in a flea infested barracks. “The guards never came in to stop them, because of the fleas. So Corrie and Betsie thanked God for the fleas!” 
Flea bites were Corrie’s “brand-marks”. I am seriously humbled by saints like the Apostle Paul and Corrie ten Boom who endured real suffering for Jesus. I never had to do that. A little teasing, maybe even some ridicule through the years, but I’ve never been branded. I have no real scars. I carry no “marks of Jesus” on my body. No one I know does either. Running out of coffee before my morning devotions is about as bad as it gets for me.
I’m not looking for a beating. I don’t feel guilty or cheated or jealous of those who have truly suffered for their devotion to Jesus. In fact, I’m incredibly thankful to God for my comfortable lifestyle. But I am also awestruck by the example of past and present martyrs of the faith. Until I suffer like Paul or Corrie, I will never compare my plight with theirs. There is no comparison between me and saints like that.
 Corrie ten Boom was born in Haarlem in Holland on April 15, 1892. Soon after German forces invaded Holland in 1940, Corrie and her father Caspar and sister Betsie began their work with the Dutch underground movement. For nearly 4 years they hid Jews and others hunted by the Nazis in a secret hiding place behind a wall in Corrie’s bedroom. They were eventually betrayed and sent to Ravensbruck where both Caspar and Betsie lost their lives. In 1968 Corrie ten Boom was invited by the state of Israel to plant a tree along the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles near Jerusalem, where Oskar Schindler is also so honored. In 1983, Corrie died on her 91st birthday. For more information read Corrie ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place” (Chosen Books, 1971) and visit these sites: http://www.corrietenboom.com/history.htm and http://www.soon.org.uk/true_stories/holocaust.htm.