Yesterday, as we were driving back from seeing my new nephew in Houston, I asked my wife to tell me a story. See, she had finished reading The Hiding Place just hours earlier and since I had always wanted to read it, but never got around to it, this seemed the perfect time to step into Holland during World War II with a family whose faith led them to love the needy at great cost. So, for the next two hours, my heart experienced hurt, challenge, encouragement, and twenty other emotions as my wife spun this yarn.
Along the way, my wife told me of a conversation she had with a friend about this book. Her friend had expressed how this book was different than the other books she had read about the Holocaust in that the descriptions of suffering, though real and extremely sad, were not written in explicit, gruesome detail. And, each scene of suffering (especially in the concentration camps) seemed to be setting up another scene wherein God’s grace and providence were revealed for the reader to see against the backdrop of loathsome circumstances.
This conversation was instructive to me. So often, in our choices of entertainment or our choices of conversation pieces, intrigue becomes a strong deciding factor. Intrigue being that quality in a book, movie, or experience that sparks curiosity or fascination. Do we let intrigue become an end in itself, as if the degree to which something grabs our interest is the mark of its value?
Many find the Holocaust to be intriguing, but the story of The Hiding Place makes certain that readers go beyond intrigue to the good and gracious God who is above all of the devastation in our sinful world (and yet who came into our sinful world to rescue us) . Church, let us strive to do the same. Let us not be content to read an intriguing story without remembering the God above the story and let us not be content to grab the attention of others without taking them beyond the curiosity to the God who has written the grand story.