I just recently finished reading Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. It took me about six months to possibly a year to finish this book. I read it off and on between other books and a busy school and political schedule. I really found it fascinating and interesting throughout and especially towards the middle all the way to the end. I love reading about historical figures and heroic people that have come before.
Over the last few years, I have found a particular interest in the WWII era and the struggles that everyday people had to face during that time. This interest may be due to the fact that my family and I have a great love for old 40s and 50s movies that portray this time period. Oh, how I love those old films!

Going back to Bonhoeffer, I remember having seen this book many years ago and I wanted to read it since. I always had a difficult time facing these types of stories, stories like Corrie Ten Boom, Bonhoeffer, Hans Poley, early church martyrs, etc. I couldn't understand why God would allow these things to happen to His own. I guess I was afraid. Then one night, my sister pulled out a movie and asked me to watch it. I told her I couldn't. It was Return to the Hiding Place, the sequel to the movie about the Ten Boom family, The Hiding Place. After telling my sister that I couldn't watch it, she simply explained to me that these people that had suffered so much deserved to have their story heard. They did not ask to be put in those terrible situations. Would I want my story to be shunned due to fear and confusion if I were them? No, I wouldn't.
After processing this and realizing her point, I sat down and watched the movie. It was hard. Sad. Brave. Heroic. Sacrificial. And it was hopeful. I had listened to their stories and I was touched. After that, I read the book The Hiding Place and The Return to the Hiding Place. I have a new found interest in the early church founders and their struggles. These stories need to be heard. Not only do they need to be heard for history's sake, but for the strengthening of our own faith. These people instill courage and hope in my everyday life. God uses regular people like you and me to make up these hard but incredible stories. People going about their everyday life doing the simple things. Bonhoeffer was a pastor and a theologian. Corrie Ten Boom and her family were watchmakers. We do not have to be heroes or "important" people to make a difference. It is the simple, everyday living, being faithful to God in the big and small things. This is what cultivates the Ten Booms and the Bonhoeffers of the faith.

I always had a fear of facing hard things like these people did. A question that Corrie asked her Father really hit home for me.

“Tell me,” her father wisely responded, “when you take a train trip from Haarlem to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.
“Daddy,” she had said one day, “I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”
“That is right,” he replied, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our wise Father in heaven knows when you are going to need things too. Today you do not need the strength to be a martyr. But as soon as you are called upon for the honor of facing death for Jesus, He will supply the strength you need—just in time.”
“I took great comfort in my father’s advice,” Corrie told her audience. “Later I had to suffer for Jesus in a [Nazi] concentration camp. He indeed gave me all the courage and power I needed.”


One last thing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. What a man. I was fascinated reading about him and the German citizen's side of the struggle with Hitler and the World War. It was a terrible struggle that involved many Germans giving their lives in the effort to get rid of the wretched Fuhrer. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of those brave Germans who gave his life. He did it in service to his country, the Jewish people, and His God. But before this selfless sacrifice, Bonhoeffer sacrificed in service to God throughout his whole life in the everyday matters. He served others through his pastorship and theological writings. He gave himself to the work of God in obedience to His will. That is what he stressed throughout his adult life, obedience to God no matter the consequences. That everyday, simple faith is what prepared him for the end. He trusted His God and served him in obedience to the end.

One Sunday morning, we sang the worship song Hosanna. While playing that and singing, my thoughts went to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and tears welled up. The lyrics that reminded me of him were as follows:

Verse 1a
"I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith"

"Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me

Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity"

Because of his faith, he was able to walk from earth into eternity with confidence and peace. God was with him.

Thank you for reading my scattered but sincere thoughts.

Bonhoeffer serving young boys as a teacher. 

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