“I need a reliable car to get to work,” I prayed. “Something affordable, even on my salary!”
My pastor had said. “When you pray, be SPECIFIC,” So, I added to my car prayer, “And, Lord, could you please make it a WHITE one? Maybe I could handle $50 a month?!”
The answer was more than I could have ever imagined!
Nearly two years of chasing after Nashville metro buses, dodging raindrops, and showing up for work looking like a hurricane victim, had taken its toll. I was thankful to work and study at Belmont College then. But wages in academia are nothing like what I made in the music business, where I’d spent many years singing and traveling. Yes, my lifestyle had changed drastically; wonderfully! However, my new budget laughed at a car payment of any size.
For many years, I’d performed across America and beyond with my own show, and later with Opry star, Whispering Bill Anderson. But, in 1984, finding deep faith in Jesus Christ, my tune had definitely changed.
A musician I’d worked with named Aaron had also quit the road for a time, and had taken a sales position with a local Ford dealership. I asked him to keep an eye out for a used car. “Even a klunker,” I told him. No specifics this time.
Does God Answer Car Prayers?
It was a busy day for me at Belmont when Aaron finally called. “Come right away. I think I’ve found your car, and the owner is here!”
“What is it?” I asked.
“It’s a 1972 Ford Grand Torino.”
“Great!” I said, as if I had a clue what that was. No matter, it was a car!
I left work and ran to catch the #2 Belmont bus to town. Another bus would take me north toward Goodlettsville. It was a long ride, and at that time, the bus only went so far up Gallatin Road. I’d have to walk the last mile to where my “new” car waited.
Aaron was standing outside the big glass dealership windows, as I puffed up the driveway past rows of gleaming new, and unaffordable for me, 1986 models. He grabbed a key and led me to the used car lot.
“THAT’S IT!” I pointed out, excitedly.
“How did you know?” asked Aaron.
“It’s WHITE!” I said, resolutely.
It was love at first sight, even with a conspicuous hump on the massive hood that hid a V8 engine. Climbing behind the wheel, I realized I’d have to sit on maybe a large phone book to see over the hump. Otherwise… PERFECT!
“What kind of payment arrangement can we work out?” I asked the owner. Without hesitation he said, “How about $50 a month?”
An answer to prayer. The humpy, white car was a definite blessing!
Me and “The Blessing”
The Blessing and I were an unlikely match. No matter; I was just thrilled to have wheels again!
One afternoon, however, driving to lunch, the car suddenly went silent and rolled to a stop. Fortunately, just half a block ahead was a large gas station with open bay doors. A heavy-set mechanic was standing up under a raised vehicle. I left The Blessing and walked to the station.
Seeing me coming, the man ambled up to me, wiping grease off his hands; partially on a shop cloth and leaving a little for the side of his pants. Across his pocket was the name GEORGE.
“Okay, so what can I do for you?” he grumped. Something had already gotten on George’s last nerve, and I was one more interruption. I quickly pointed to where my car sat “dead as a door nail,” and was surprised when he dropped everything and followed me down the street.
Trying the key just once, George said, “Dead battery! I’ll tow it to the garage and put it on the charger.”
“OK, how long will that take?” I asked.
“Well, you can’t go anywhere until we recharge your battery, can you!?” he crabbed. It was a slow day for the station, and while we waited the hour it took to recharge The Blessing’s huge battery, George and I had a long talk. My faith in Christ was so new and, George’s mood aside, I was more than eager to share about it.
George’s Side of the Story
At first, George was reluctant to listen, but finally shared about his own “religious” experience.
He had a brother somewhere he hadn’t spoken to in years; a preacher George had decided was just a “big know-it-all.” George was “sick and tired” of hearing about religion, and how he personally needed to “repent” of some things. He had long-since separated himself from “all those religious folks.” His brow remained knit; as I told him what I understood was the difference between religion and a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus.
“Yeah, I’ve heard all that!” George said, impatiently. Still, he seemed drawn to the conversation and almost sorry when it was time for me and The Blessing to leave.
“How much do I owe you, George?” I asked.
“No charge,” he waved off my question. “By the way,” he added, “Your car has an oil leak, and a few other parts that could use replacing. But, don’t buy the parts from the cheapskate who owns this station,” he continued, “Buy them at AutoZone down the street, and I’ll put them in for nothing!”
“Thanks, George. Nice talking with you!” I waved goodbye and hopped behind the wheel.
A Divine Appointment?
The Blessing had run just fine, until it died that day. Apparently, so I could meet George.
Now, it seemed, every few weeks some part or other needed replacement. Each time, George told me what to pick up at AutoZone. Somehow, the money was there for the parts. And George was true to his word, never allowing me to pay him a penny for his labor.
Each time the car went back to the garage, George would ask about God, even as he argued at each point, until it seemed he had exhausted all his objections.
George always expressed amazement that the car kept running at all, especially after it had begun to rock spastically, when idling at a stoplight. I got some interesting looks from people in cars next to me. Others suggested I replace the car, saying it would embarrass them to be seen in it, shimmying like that.
“You’re too classy to ride around in such a car,” one friend told me. But The Blessing was what I could afford, and I was glad to have it. How could I not be thankful even for a “convulsing, humpy, old gas hog,” as one had called it; that made life easier for me, and gave me the opportunity to talk Jesus with George?
Good old George! By that time, he’d heard all my stories about this and other blessings, since I turned my life over to the Lord.
It had been months now since George told me about the major oil leak, and his latest examination of the car caused him to look at me as if to prepare a patient for the “C” word.
“It doesn’t look good!” George said, shaking his head. “We need to open the engine and see how many cylinders are down. Leave it here a few days. After all,” he assured me, “This will not be just a little replacement part!”
To my surprise, George called late that afternoon.
Some Kind of Miracle
“You need to come and see this with your own eyes,” George said.
“What’s wrong, George?”
“Just get out here,” George almost commanded. “You’re not going to believe this!”
When I arrived at the station, I saw a grease-covered George, impatiently waving me into the garage. His black hair looked like it had also sprung an oil leak, and he was particularly red in the face. A bit overweight, George had no doubt spent one too many days eating corn chips in lieu of lunch from the vending machine, as he applied his skills for people like me, without even taking a decent break.
Peering his head from under The Blessing’s generous hood, he said, “Miss Susan, I opened the engine. Look in there!” I leaned over the large radiator trying to see what had him so perplexed.
“Can’t you see it?” he griped, pointing out the substantial rust on some of the cylinders.
“Do you not understand?” George was frustrated now; apparently thinking my blond hair had clogged my brains.
“THERE IS NO WAY ON GOD’S EARTH THIS CAR SHOULD BE RUNNING!”
“Look at the rust build-up on those five cylinders—they’re rusted shut! I’d say you’ve been running on only THREE of eight cylinders for about six months. THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE!”
I had assured George months before that my car was a blessing, and this cinched it!
“I’m going back to church!” George said, scratching his head with an oily wrench.
The Rest of the Story
I sold The Blessing right after that, to a young mechanic George referred me to who thought it would be a collector’s item one day. I was finally able to buy another, newer car.
A few months later, I went by the station to see how my friend George was doing. I wanted to thank him again for all he had done to help me with an old “clunker” that had turned out to be a Blessing. But George was gone! No one seemed to know where, for sure.
George had finally admitted, it was a “by-God miracle” that kept The Blessing on the road all that time.
My guess is, George went home to mend his relationship with his brother; and with the One who loved him enough to send The Blessing to show him that—miracles still happen!
[True story from Susan Meredith Beyer’s book—Above “Reality”: Where Miracles Happen and Healing Begins—available in print or Kindle at Amazon]
Winter is no time to travel alone on the icy roads of North Dakota with temperatures in the single digits. Still, my cross-over country music show had been booked at Minot Air Force Base, and we were determined to make the date.
We had just finished performing in Sioux Falls, and my band went home to Ohio for a week. I was happy to be with my three children in Rochester, Minnesota that Thanksgiving week, before driving on alone to Minot with all our equipment in tow; nearly 600 miles away. The band was to meet up in Minot, December 1st.
Our touring vehicle, an older black Cadillac limousine, pulling a 14-foot U-Haul trailer, was altogether a three-ton anomaly that shook heads wherever we went. Maybe it was the pink seals boasting my initials, SM, on the limo’s front doors! My band enjoyed telling people the SM stood for Sam’s Mortuary or almost anything but Susan Meredith, the name my manager gave me when he promised to make me a big star.
The North Dakota weather forecast called for freezing temps and several more inches of snow. Although the highway was clear enough to Bismarck, U.S. Hwy 83 North would be an arrow-straight, desolate road for the next 110 miles to Minot. I was already fighting sleep, but affording a motel was not an option.
After paying my agent and bills back home, I had barely enough money to put gas in the tank. The rig only got about seven miles per gallon, and I was down to half a tank of gas. No credit cards, and less than ten dollars in my pocket.
I’d made it to a gas station where a sign read LAST STOP—GET YOUR GAS HERE. The station manager called it, “The point of no return.” I put my last few dollars in the tank. Only my pride kept me from asking him for a free fill-up in exchange for something in my trailer. I would soon wish I’d swallowed my pride!
It was dark now, as I left the station; like driving into a cave. There would be no street lights or places to stop before reaching Minot. Snow fell harder, and the wind had picked up. Sleet swept across the car’s wide black hood, making it hard to steer, as the security of the little gas station lights faded from view.
What was I doing? Was I really headed toward musical success for me and my children, or had I lost my direction altogether?
I had begun to pray somewhere back on the road, when calculating the amount of gas and money needed to finish the trip. It hadn’t added up in my favor.
“God, if you’re there, please get me to Minot, please don’t let me run out of gas and die out here!”
I hadn’t thought about God in many years. I still believed He could not be known really, but my prayers that night in the dark Dakotas became more and more desperate, until it was all I could think about. Fear and begging for mercy—mile after mile!
The wind and snow blew harder now, and the windshield wipers on high could not keep the windshield clear. But if I stopped, I’d get stuck in the snow. I had heard about people freezing to death up here. Other and wiser travelers had avoided U.S. 83 that night, as I could count the cars I’d passed on one hand.
“Please, God, I won’t ever put myself in this position again, please don’t let me die out here in this—my children need me. Please get me to Minot, please God!”
Suddenly, the limo felt as if it would blow off the road as an 18-wheeler blew past me on my left. How could he go that fast in this? I’d been staring at the road ahead and praying so hard, I hadn’t seen him coming up on me. Maybe he would help me, I thought. But he was already gone—his huge red tail lights growing smaller ahead.
Just as I regained a steady grip on the steering wheel, two more headlights grew large in the opposite lane in front of me. Another monster blew past in the dark—the last vehicle I would see from that point on.
RUNNING ON EMPTY
My fuel gauge was on E. Nearly 40 miles to go, and the tank was empty! “Please, God…!” Near panic, my mind spun, trying to think what to do. I hadn’t seen anything but snow and a couple of “uncaring” trucks on the road for more miles than I recalled. I searched for lights of a farmhouse along the road. But visibility made my world only a little larger than the limousine.
I tried to remember anything I’d learned about God in that little church Mom had sent us to briefly, long ago. Nice people went there—although not Mom and Dad. “Normal people,” I thought; even if they prayed to a God they couldn’t see.
I remembered a song they sang, “Fairest Lord Jesus.” I tried singing to calm myself: Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature, O Thou art God and man the Son… Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
“But what did it mean really?” I wondered. “God, HELP ME!”
Just ahead, a sign appeared on the side of the road: ROAD CLOSED AHEAD—EXIT RIGHT. My eyes strained to see through the slush-covered windshield. “Exit right, WHERE?”
I saw nowhere to turn off. Suddenly, a huge barrier stood just yards ahead of me—six feet high with letters that read: ROAD CLOSED.
I did the worse thing a driver can do on snow and ice and slammed on my brakes, fearing there could be maybe a hundred-foot drop on the other side of that barrier. I all but stopped breathing as the massive front end of the limousine smashed through—splintering wood in every direction. I ducked as it came toward the windshield, but somehow it all blew over the top of the car. I felt the tires bump and slide as the rig began to twist to the left.
“Is this it? Am I going to die out here, God?”
I could see the side of the U-Haul trailer, too close in my left side mirror. It seemed forever before the car and trailer buckled in one last jolt and came to a stop.
The wind howled around me as I stepped out of the car on rubbery legs. The pavement on this section of highway had been removed, for some reason, leaving an icy stretch of dirt clods and debris. No one had seen me go through the barrier. I was alone. The rig had jackknifed, badly twisting the tongue of the trailer. The engine was now silent.
“Oh, God, what do I do? PLEASE help me!”
I don’t remember being as cold as I was scared stiff, at that point, but I was thankful to be alive and unhurt. My gas gauge had read below empty for more than thirty miles, and I was certain the engine had made its last sound.
GRACE EVEN SO
I waited to see if someone, a police car, anyone, would come. No one! I was shaking so hard, I couldn’t think. Of course, that was my problem. If I had been thinking straight, I wouldn’t be out here!
Climbing back into the car, I said what might have been my last prayer. Surely, I couldn’t survive the night there. I thought to try the key and was surprised beyond belief when the engine roared to life.
Still jittery, I rolled forward to straighten the rig, then headed back to find the exit that sign had mentioned. There it was—a one-lane path headed down to another road. Orange detour signs led me to the highway some miles up. I feared the engine would go silent again, but somehow it kept going. Finally, another sign: MINOT CITY LIMITS.
I pulled up to the curb at the Minot motel late that night, and the limo’s huge engine died. I was safe at last. Tears came.
Did I thank God? Probably not! But I told everyone I thought it was a “miracle.” Next morning, when the band tried to start the engine, the gas tank was so dry it took a few gallons of gas for primer to get to a service station.
At that point in my life, I didn’t really know what Jesus had to do with anything, but after that, I was apt to think, “Certainly, God must be real.”
I suppose I’d chalked that Minot experience up to “luck” or “fate,” or “It’s just wasn’t my time to go.” I was just thankful I would live to see my three precious children—Mike, Kevin and Mindy—and life would go on.
Still, it would be eight years, before I understood what happened that night. Eight years before I would meet the One who surely heard my desperate prayers—knowing that one day I would be His.
On that dark road to Minot, a loving God had extended His amazing grace to a foolish young woman who was way too far from home. In His mercy, He had shown even me, His power to save.
[From Susan’s book, “Above Reality: Where Miracles Happen and Healing Begins” – Purchase at Amazon.com]
I had a strange dream a while back. It was so real, I couldn’t get it off my mind. So, I decided to share it with my good friend “Kathy,” who had recently sent me a Tony Gaskins article titled, “What A Real Man’s Love Looks Like.”
In my dream, I and several others were preparing for some sort of event. I noticed our swimming pool (the one we don’t actually have) needed cleaning and was covered with fallen leaves and twigs. As I waited for instructions on what to do about that…
I looked up and saw SUPERMAN flying across the sky at tremendous speed. His face was heavenward, as he lay on something like a large fiery bullet. Flames surrounded his neck at the tip of the object.
The voice of a news broadcaster was reporting, “Superman is removing the object at the risk of his own life. He will not let it go, even as his head and neck are in the fire!”
Suddenly the dream changed…
My husband was driving our car, his brow creased with concern, as I rode silently beside him. He had managed to cut a cantaloupe in thirds, and as he drove on, he held a piece of it on the back of his neck to cool the burn. I commented about how “clever” it was of him to think to do that. But he just turned and looked at me with obvious pain in his eyes and said, “It really hurts, Susan!”
I woke up, startled.
Some Kind of Superman
As I lay there thinking about my dream, I was reminded just how hard men like my husband work to show love for their wives. And yet, how fragile men can be in some ways. So much is expected of them. And real men, who really love and take responsibility for their role as men, bear it well, if we women would only stop to recognize it.
I looked at my still-sleeping husband in the dim light of the room and wanted to say, “Forgive me, for looking to you sometimes to be some kind of Superman. All the pressures of a business owner; enduring health issues the past few years that would best most people. Yet always concerned for me; always the go-to guy for another need or repair in our daily lives.
A Dreamy Reminder
I believe my dream was the Lord reminding me that my “Superman,” committed and loving as a man can be to our life together, is really only human, and that life and duty “really hurts” for him too, at times.
As his wife, it’s important for me to encourage him more, and be ever more attentive to his needs. It’s important to help share the weight of things from which we women can tend to abdicate, just expecting our men to handle them. There’s a balance, of course! Men LIKE doing certain things—and they are happiest if we women just let them do those things without our “expert” directives.
After sharing my dream with my friend Kathy, she responded, “We all should be reminded of this! I have a husband who is healing from a broken back, yet he still rides fiery bullets for me.”
The dream was a reminder for me to also be the “real woman” who loves her real man in deeper ways. That’s when a woman is able to realize what a real man’s love looks like!
Ten Boom the Musical
“the PERFECT LOVE story”
This wonderful Christian stage play, was presented for the very first time, May 2-3, 2014, by the students and faculty of Grace Christian School (GCS) in Bennington, Vermont. [See Cast photo]
Laurie McCaskill, a dedicated GCS instructor, called us in February 2014 to engage the play as an all-school event to present to the Tri-State community (VT/MA/NY). She hoped “to share the love of Christ through the powerful, often miraculous story of Dutch Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom.” Laurie had always loved Corrie ten Boom’s true story, and had gone online to find a “short play… something, by or about Corrie’s life.” She found our Website and called for more information.
Never, since we began working on this project, had I heard deeper conviction from anyone so hoping to reach others for Christ, and sure our musical was exactly what the Lord prescribed. Laurie’s deep faith, humility, and genuine heart for others, caused Donna and me to trust GCS to abbreviate the play a bit. Somehow, we had total peace they could do it, and without us coordinating that!
Ten Boom co-writer Donna Marquean Griggs and I, along with my husband Philip Beyer, were able to fly in to see two of the school’s three performances. Philip said he was “dumb-founded” after our trip: “If I had not been here to see this for myself, you would never have been able to describe what happened here… the ways God showed His hand in all of it!”
READ ON, and see if you don’t agree!
Miraculous Christian Theater
We soon realized, God’s hand was in this, from Laurie McCaskill’s first phone call, to our return to Nashville. This amazing experience confirmed for us and others that “Ten Boom the Musical” is meant to touch many lives!
Grace Christian School was established in the fall of 1997; the very same time Donna and I began writing the musical. That was just one of many “coincidences” we would discover there.
Over the previous two years, we had contacted many larger churches, Christian university Theater Arts departments, and certain community theaters. Even as the writers, we thought the play was “too big” for smaller venues. However, the Lord had something else (better) in mind to launch our play. Apparently, He wanted to show us what HE could do with a group of truly committed actors and believers in an unexpected, smaller setting. GCS was a total surprise!
Arriving in Bennington VT
We were given an overwhelming welcome, including large baskets in our motel rooms. Those were full of Vermont specialties (maple syrup, apples, candy “moose kisses”, etc.). The next day, Joyce Lloyd, school founder/administrator treated us to lunch, after giving us the grand tour of their community of teachers and students. The last stop on the tour would be to see the stage and set for the play. Very exciting moment!
Everyone greeted us with genuine excitement—“You’re the ones who wrote the musical!” Handshakes, hugs, thank you’s. It was amazing! With each step on the tour, Mrs. Lloyd told us some of the “miraculous” stories of how the school (a wonderfully-converted former Ramada Inn) had come together. Philip smilingly commented to Donna and me, “You two are rock stars!” The entire school—students, teachers, cast, administration people, parents, even people we ran into in shops downtown—made us feel like visiting celebrities. We were humbled and blessed!
Story #1 | Divine Supply
Mrs. Lloyd was educated as a chemistry professor. So, she was happy to discover, the room that had been a bar/lounge in the former Ramada was a perfect place for a chemistry lab. The Problem was, they had no equipment to teach chemistry; couldn’t afford it, at that point. But, within the first couple weeks, totally unsolicited, they had received several boxes filled with chemistry/lab equipment and supplies. Another school had heard GCS was starting up and thought they might need the equipment—no charge.
Stories like that had Donna, Philip and me on the verge of tears with each step; so strong was the Spirit in that place. We couldn’t wait to see what they were going to do with our play! Over the next two nights, we watched them perform to two packed houses. No professional actors or singers, but people of all ages giving their total heart to a creative, God-honoring performance WE DID NOT EXPECT! It was stunning, to say the least!
The cast and crew of their presentation (about 60 people) was made up of GCS students, including foreign exchange students from Germany, Korea and China. Also in the cast were some faculty members, and students from the Northeastern Baptist University on the old Ramada’s second floor. They followed the directions we had written into the script, pretty closely, and it came together. Honestly, they had taken some creative license that made us wish we had thought of some of those things ourselves. They put together surprisingly good sets, props and costumes; even their own media and sound effects. They had done some really nice promo, and worked as the most amazingly cohesive team, in one Spirit.
Laurie McCaskill did a great job directing the play, even as she faced personal challenges, at the time.
Story #2 | Divine Coincidence?
Sadly, Laurie’s mother was in the last stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease; but was being lovingly cared for by Laurie’s brother in nearby NY.
The week before the play was to go onstage, Laurie had called her brother and found him reading to their mother. When Laurie asked what he was reading, her brother said, “The Hiding Place, about Corrie ten Boom.” Laurie was amazed, as she had not told her brother about presenting our play, prior to that. They were both stunned! Laurie said, hearing that, she felt her decision to do the play had been totally confirmed.
Sunday morning May 4, as Philip and I waited to board our plane to go home, Laurie texted me. Her mother had “died peacefully at 10:30pm Saturday night, just as last night’s final performance ended.” Laurie texted further, “Mama’s gone home to be with Jesus and Corrie.”
More Absolutely Divine Stories
- A lovely young German girl, a foreign exchange student, did a fine job of portraying a Nazi guard. We were not allowed to take photos of her in that role, as her sponsors back in Germany might not understand her taking that risk. But, she insisted on playing the part, and protected herself to some degree. For her costume, she wore the red armband inside-out so it wouldn’t show the swastika. She certainly didn’t let it hinder her performance. When she shouted in German, “ALLE NASEN GEGEN MAUER! EVERY NOSE TO THE WALL,” the whole audience came to attention! Because of her affiliation with GCS, she became a Christian.
- Then there was the Korean boy, also a foreign exchange student, who spoke almost no English. He took on the singing role of a German Nazi youth named “Otto” with a vengeance, so to speak. The young actor’s brother, who also had a lead role, spoke better English and had taught his brother the meaning of his lines. Our Korean “Otto” had memorized the English words so he could be in the play. He did a GREAT job… what a trooper!
- One young actor was so dedicated to his role as a Nazi captain, he hand-made his own, authentic-looking uniform.
- At one point, we visited an art & crafts store called Fiddlehead in downtown Bennington. We met a likeable young man who worked there, who was also a former news reporter. He became very interested in our visit to present our play, and he interviewed/ photographed Donna and me for the store’s Website and Facebook page, to help promote the event. Donna and I were able to share our stories with him; I gave him a copy of my book, and we invited him to the play. Before we left the store, he told us he was actually Jewish. He said, “I went through the bar mitzvah, the whole nine yards, but I no longer believe in all that God stuff.” Still, when Donna went back the next day to buy a gift, he asked to hear more about her faith, about Corrie, etc. We’re praying for him to know his Messiah, Jesus!!
Don’t Doubt the Reality of Divine Appointments
There were what we would call other “divine” appointments and uncanny “coincidences” that made our Vermont trip an amazing experience! Moreover, we know now, the Lord is in this musical project, and we’re encouraged to go forward. More than ever, we’re happy to wait totally on His timing and certainly His choice of venues!
The Bennington newspaper sent two reporters to GCS to interview Donna and me that first day. Funny thing—we picked up the paper at breakfast the next morning and began looking for the article, expecting it would be in the BACK pages. We all laughed when Philip turned the paper over and saw that the story took up the bottom third of the FRONT page. We hadn’t expected THAT either!
Everything—every bit of timing for the entire trip, was mind-boggling, including Donna’s iffy “stand-by” return flights to Ft Worth, Texas. It was all she had been able to book, but had her set to depart Albany NY airport some FIVE HOURS LATER than Philip’s and my flight to Nashville. Long stand-by list, yet Donna was able to change her flight back to Texas, at the last minute. She departed Albany not only near the same time we did, but landed in Dallas at the exact time Philip and I landed back in Nashville.
We came home with a new commitment, and made some strategic tweaks to the script. Laurie McCaskill’s heart for Corrie ten Boom, and a cast of committed young actors in Vermont, made us more sure of how “ten Boom” should be presented. Also, it made us more confident of our original concept.
Exciting New Resolve Back Home
On our return home, we revamped the play’s ending, adding a new song, “Imagine/Perfect Love (medley),” making it much more powerful. Actually, it was more in keeping with the integrity of Corrie’s remarkable true life story. We also eliminated a few characters and condensed the dialogue some.
“Ten Boom the Musical” has been performed in other places now, but that first-ever production will always be a special memory for Donna and me!
We look forward to seeing what the Lord is going to do with “ten Boom the Musical” in the future, and pray many more churches and venues will see the value of performing it!
We pray that this example of God’s involvement in our work will encourage others to know and believe; He is always watching, ever present—He cares about our lives, our work in Him, even in the small details. He does direct our paths. In Him, ALL things are possible!
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble
And surround me with songs of deliverance.
[We recently found this article by Crosswalk.com contributor, Jeanne Doyon, that shares her personal insights, regarding the amazing faith of Dutch holocaust survivor and Christian evangelist, Corrie ten Boom. We pray this reprint has the blessing of Jeanne Doyan, and will bless others on her and our behalf …Susan Meredith Beyer & Donna Marquean Griggs, co-writers, “Ten Boom the Musical”]
Corrie (Cornelia) ten Boom is one of my heroes of the faith. She was the daughter of a Dutch watchmaker living in Holland during WWII. She and her family hid Jews in their home to protect them from being sent to the prison camps. One day the Nazi officers arrested Corrie and her family for hiding Jewish people in their home and they were sent to prison. Corrie and her sister Betsie were eventually sent to the Ravensbruck death camp. Corrie is the only one of her family that survived, and her story is written in her book called “The Hiding Place.”
What I love most about Corrie is her simple wisdom and devotion to the Lord. She endured such evil, including seeing her family die in the horrid camp conditions. Yet she radiates with the light of God’s love and peace. In her book “Tramp For The Lord” she tells the story about how years after her release from the concentration camp, she came in contact with one of the most brutal prison guards and extended forgiveness to him. Her life is an example of how God works in and through our lives, carrying us through the hardships.
And she is an amazing testimony to His faithfulness and how His light can shine even in the darkest places.
Corrie’s story prompts me to ask some probing questions about my faith walk.
What Message am I Leaving Behind?
Corrie ten Boom’s story of faith is inspiring and timeless. Her legacy lives on through her penned words. Lives continue to be touched even though she has been gone since 1983. It is words like these from her books, that fill my sails with hope to continue on life’s journey:
- I soon discovered that man’s importunity is God’s opportunity. He uses our problems as building materials for His miracles.
- God has plans—not problems—for our lives.
- Before she died in the concentration camp in Ravensbruck, my sister Betsie said to me, “Corrie, your whole life has been a training for the work you are doing here in prison—and for the work you will do afterward.”
- Whether I am walking in the bright light of His presence, or abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, I know that He is not only with me, He is in me.
What a treasure trove of encouragement! This inspires me to think, every believer is leaving behind hope for the next generation. What will your message be? What will mine say to future generations?
Am I Trusting God to Lead?
In “Tramp For The Lord,” Corrie tells of her adventures of feeling led by the Lord to go from country to country to tell her story after her release from the Ravensbruck death camp. She boarded planes without hotel reservations, scheduled speaking engagements, or details, trusting the Lord to lead her when she arrived. And the amazing thing is that He did lead her.
Corrie’s adventures make me realize how much I play it safe. I look at my world with two-dimensional reason rather than three-dimensional faith. There is a part of me that wants to be like Corrie—totally trusting—completely surrendered—and in tune with the voice of my Father. There is a desire to understand Whittier’s words that say, “The steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath.” WOW!
So, What Hinders Me?
The strongest hindrance I have is myself. I second guess my impressions and come up with reasons why I shouldn’t take them seriously.
Corrie tells a story about when she felt impressed by the Lord to go to Argentina. She replied, “Yes, but…” and then remembered that serving the Lord should always be answered with, “Yes, Lord.”
I think I use a lot of ‘buts’ in my thinking. But, what if I take on too much? But, what if I’m not hearing correctly?
The other reason I struggle is that I have burned out so many times. When burnout happens, it’s usually because I have been depending on my own ability, thinking I have got it covered. It sneaks up like a stealth fighter and in an instant, I find myself on my face crying out for help—His help. He’s been there all along but will allow me to take the reins in order to show me how much I need Him.
He is my strength when I am weak… The truth is—He is my strength all the time. Unless I am depending on His Holy Spirit power, I am kidding myself. There is nothing of Kingdom value I can accomplish on my own. But, I find when I am plugged into His power source I accomplish more with less effort. It isn’t me. It can never be me unless I am surrendered to Him each day.
Corrie passed through the fire during her time in the concentration camp. I think there is a dependence that develops when we have nothing left, but Him. In my humanness, I don’t want to face hardships like that, but I do want to learn more about the deep trust she found in her Heavenly Papa.
How about you? Is ‘but, Lord’ in your vocabulary too? What might the Lord be asking you to do?
Discover the Rich Resource of Corrie’s Life
If you have never read Corrie ten Boom’s books, I encourage you to look for them. You will be blessed by her stories. I pray I never have to endure what she went through, but part of me wants a relationship with God like hers. She was an amazing woman who was sold out to obedience to her Heavenly Father. Her story and her example continue to inspire others to this day.
Corrie died on her 91st birthday in 1983. There is an interesting Jewish tradition that says, only very blessed people are allowed the special privilege of dying on their birthday!
She has certainly blessed me.
[Article by Jeanne Doyon, Crosswalk.com Contributor, Sep 6, 2013]
Corrie ten Boom – April 15, 1892 Haarlem, Holland (The Netherlands) – April 15, 1983 (Santa Ana, CA)
[Ten Boom the Musical shares the true and powerful story of Corrie ten Boom. To present this musical at your church or venue, contact us at 615-425-2652, 615-300-8591, or email us at [email protected]]