“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.”
– Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom was imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration death camp by the Nazi’s for helping Jews escape the atrocities of the Holocaust. Her father and sister died while in prison, and her brother died soon after he was released.
Along with her sister and many other women, the guards physically and sexually abused Corrie day after day for almost a year.
During that time, Corrie learned what she repeated for years after her release:
“There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still.”
After speaking to a group in Berlin, Germany in 1947, a man approached her and asked, “Do you know who I am?” It was not until then that Corrie recognized the man as one of the guards of the concentration camp who had committed horrible acts of cruelty against her and her sister.
Corrie was immediately filled with hatred and bitterness, but Romans 5:5 consumed her heart.
“God has poured out his love into out hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Corrie said that she looked at the man and responded, “Brother, give me your hand.” As the man put his hand into Corrie’s, she told him, “I forgive you everything.”
Later she would explain,
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hand, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.”