When Life is Too Heavy: Corrie Ten Boom

The following is an excerpt from The Hiding Place, an autobiography by Corrie Ten Boom. In this chapter of the book, she recounts a conversation with her father that has very real applications today.

"So the line had stuck in my head. 'Sex,' I was pretty sure, meant whether you were a boy or a girl, and 'sin' made Tante (Aunt) 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 daughter 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’s father had the perfect response to an unexpected question. He beautifully converted the temptation to overreact into interaction. Conversations about sex, development and other heavy subjects are not “one size fits all” conversations.

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