While driving, I've been listening to Corrie ten Boom's autobiographical CD audiobook of The Hiding Place. Two aspects of this book really leap out at me over and over.
1. It describes one of the most effective and true-to-life examples of how Christianity is more than merely a bunch of useful rules, quaint meditations, and life-hacks. (The medicine dropper is the example which comes first to my mind.)
I'm impressed how Corrie, her sister Betsie, and her father Casper were sincere Christians who basically ended up running an underground railroad out of her father's watchmaker's shop in Holland. Yet, what really impressed me is Corrie ten Boom's description of how religious belief worked intact, even inside Nazi concentration camps.)
2. No matter how many fictional and non-fictional accounts of Nazi occupation I've watched and read over the years, Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place ranks up there with Elie Wiesel's Night in regards to the horror of how unbelievably monstrous human beings can be towards each other. I mean, I knew Nazis were evil, but I didn't realize they were THIS evil!
i.e. It's one thing when an officious authority figure tells you when you are permitted to poop. It's another when you find yourself looking forward to receiving today's allowance of not one but TWO whole squares of toilet paper!
Not to sound pretentious, but if I had to rank various books/films/news regarding bureaucracy, totalitarianism, and how evil life can become, I'd have to say...
The Great Escape
White Wolf's World of Darkness
Huxley's Brave New World
Orwell's Animal Farm
Tarantino's Inglorius Basterds
Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Desinovich
News Articles About Guantanamo Bay
Orwell's 1984, especially inside Room 101
Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place, Holland during German occupation.
Elie Wiesel's Night
Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place, the concentration camp after her family's arrest.
(I consider myself blessed that God exposed me to Hogan's Heroes many years before I watched Schindler's List or read Elie Wiesel's Night. If done in the appropriate order, it's like a vaccination. If done in the wrong order, it's a one-way trip to an asylum. There's a reason we don't teach our six-year-olds about Anne Frank yet.)
On the uplifting side, I think that Corrie ten Boom's anecdote about the Happy Birthday song was a hilarious yet brilliant solution on how to save lives.
Moments like that would have fit neatly in Corporal LeBeau's latest pan of Struedel, yet moments like that were all the better because they actually worked in actual life.