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Last night, Ruthe and I attended the ballet.

Not the usual Friday night date for me. My only acquaintance with ballet was little girls in tutus and swan in a lake. I assumed I would sleep through it or hum a Willie Nelson tune (“On the Road Again”). Was I wrong!

Ballet Magnificat is a Christian dance troop, based in Jackson, MS. They tour the world – and for good reason. They are very very good.

The ballet was an adaption of the story of Corrie Ten Boom‘s, The Hiding Place. We watched Corrie and Betsy, two young women dance their hearts out in the glory of youth. Then the Nazis came. Jews were singled out, beaten, arrested, killed. Corrie and Betsy create a “hiding place” and jewish girls have a refuge. The secret is discovered, the jews are arrested, as are Corrie and Betsy. In Ravensbruck, the concentration camp, the girls teach the Bible, but Betsy is tortured and killed.

I wondered – how could God be glorified in the death of a vivacious young lady who only seeks to serve him by serving his chosen people? How could God be glorified in the great grief of Corrie and the other prisoners?

As the girls danced their grief, verses came to mind – “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life.” “In this world, you will have trouble. Take heart. I have overcome.” ” They will put some of you in jail and kill you….”

God was glorified in fulfilling his promise.

He was glorified in keeping the guards away from the lice-infested barracks, so the girls could study His Word.

He was glorified in women who treasured Him more than life.

He was glorified in Betsy’s resurrection – dressed in white, rising with great joy to meet Him (beautifully pictured in the dance)

He was glorified by portraying the sheer ugliness of the captors.

He was glorified in the forgiveness extended to a vicious former guard.

After the war, Corrie began to travel and tell her story. It was in 1967 that a shame-filled, hesitant former torturer heard her speak and approached her. Initially, she recoiled. How could she greet the former guard who take taken such delight in the death of her sister? Nothing in her wanted to forgive. The sin was too great. It wasn’t right. Forgiveness was not deserved.

Grace won out, over emotion. Corrie turned, reached out her hand, then an embrace.

The grand finale was gorgeous. The music – a mixture of classic and contemporary. The dancers were remarkable. The story dramatized the gospel. It was a night of beauty and grace.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for beauty, for Betsy and Corrie, for mercy’s triumph over sin, for grace abounding.

(For the story of Corrie’s encounter with the guard and the struggle to forgive, go here.)

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