Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Beautiful Things

Every experience God gives us, every person he puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see. Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983 )

I have this quote framed, along with a pressed flower, hanging in our guest bathroom. Most of us have it memorized since it’s right in the center of the wall. Corrie Ten Boom and her family lived under the horrific conditions of a Nazi concentration camp. Why? For loving and hiding Jews. Corrie lived to tell her amazing story and went on to travel the world telling people of Jesus’ redeeming love. I highly recommend her book, Life Lessons from Corrie Ten Boom.

Today, Rachel and I get to spend the day with our dear friend, Mrs. Nagy. We had the privilege of meeting her and her older brother, Adam, at a Bible study we attended several years ago. We invited them over for dinner and our friendship began. Mrs. Nagy, her brother, and their family survived many years in a concentration camp. These camps weren’t for Jews, but for Germans. At the end of the war, Tito (many regarded as a hero) rounded up everyone in Yugoslavia with a German name and placed them in concentration camps. It didn’t matter who you were--rich, poor, young or old. The men were taken first, followed by the women and children. Thousands starved to death. Hundreds committed suicide. Their compelling story along with thousands of others who survived, have mostly been kept secret. My husband and I sat with Adam for an entire afternoon as he recalled the horrors he saw as a 9-year old boy. His sister was 4. Imagine living on 3 kernels of corn a day. Imagine salt (snuck into camp) used as money. Imagine waking up many mornings and seeing dead people hanging in trees. No longer able to bear their circumstances and without hope, through the watches of the night they found death a better option. After being rescued a number of years later, another story begins as this family travels by foot across Europe, and they are shuffled through many refugee camps. God saw fit to put these precious people into our lives and we are so thankful. We are forever changed because of their story and their compelling love for Jesus.

Mrs. Nagy is sharing her God-given gifts with Rachel and me. Taught at her mother’s knee, she is a master at handiwork which includes sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. Her collection is breath-taking. Last week she taught Rachel the lazy daisy stitch and presented her with a special pillow case project. I don’t know what stitch we’ll learn today, but I know for certain we will get in bed tonight richer because of the time we spent together with Mrs. Nagy. This dear woman lives out what she believes. She is the embodiment of a spirit-filled, authentic Believer who constantly gives God praise, no matter what the circumstances. Many lessons not related to embroidery are being learned as we sit across her dining room table together. I am so thankful for her wisdom and great kindness.

I shared with Mrs. Nagy how I have tucked away several pillow cases given to me many years ago by my husband’s grandmother, Loretta. They are exquisite and I don’t use them because they are so beautiful. Mrs. Nagy reminded me how the soldiers came to their home and they had five minutes--bread was baking in the oven. She recalled how her mother kept her fine things tucked away and unused because of their beauty. When they were taken from their home, they never returned. The beautiful things were gone forever. Mrs. Nagy sternly told me, “Take them out! Use them! Enjoy their beauty now!” That’s exactly what I am going to do. Beautiful things should never be kept secret.


  1. This brought tears to my eyes! Beautifully written! Hope you enjoyed your afternoon with Mrs. Nagy...and enjoy your pillowcases!

  2. Grin...I'm finding that "the second time, around" is really "charming"! seriously!!