“ ’Sex,’ I was pretty sure, meant whether you were a boy or a girl, and “sin” made Tante Jans very angry, but what the two together meant I could not imagine. And so, seated next to Father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, “Father, what is sexsin?”
He turned to look at me as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor.
“Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
“It’s too heavy,” I said.
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
And I was satisfied. More than satisfied—wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions—for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”
~ Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place
Corrie ten Boom, in the early 1900’s, could not have known how this conversation would carry her through the heavy days of living in a WWII concentration camp. While imprisoned at Ravensbruck, she recognized her inability to carry many loads and asked her father, God, to carry them for her, one by one. Losing her father and watching her sister wither away in that camp, she was released alone, emerging with a deeper understanding of how much God loved her. Even during her captivity, she recognized His unseen hand carrying not only her load, but herself as well, and many in the camp, among starvation, stench, and swarming fleas, heard of the Father’s love. She spoke of this load-carrying love the rest of her life.
Another thing neither Corrie, nor her father could have known, is the distance that simple, sweet conversation would travel. One hundred years later, I am living in the suburban midwest. I have an easy life and everything I need plus more, yet I daily find my soul in torment. A look at my Facebook feed or the news headlines and all the different spins on one event will do it. I have more voices shouting at me than I can humanly handle. I hope it’s somehow a gift, but it certainly feels like a curse, that I am able to see two sides at once. I wish they were more black and white so I could actually pick one. Instead, I move through my days carrying a scale only I can see and feel, straining to weigh the cares of the world.
I lay my head down at night in comfort except for the globe trying to squeeze in with me. I’ve thought of Corrie’s father many times. I whisper the question, “Carry this for me?” Within minutes every time, the world fades away and sleep slides in without my knowing.
How kind a command we’ve been given, long before Mr. ten Boom, to “cast our cares on Him for He cares for us,” or “become like little children, for such is the kingdom of God.” How else, I have never heard, can we be so privileged and loved to have our bags be carried? Only by grace, the weight of the world is not my assignment.
“And I am satisfied. More than satisfied—wonderfully at peace. There are answers to this and all my hard questions—for now I am content to leave them in my Father’s keeping.” Without the strain, I can better hear the only voice that matters, and is known for not shouting above the rest.