Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies: Hider, not Heroine

Yesterday (Monday, 11 January 2010) Miep Gies died.

She was the last person remaining of the small group of people who hid the Frank family and others in an attic in Amsterdam during World War 2. We know of her, the Franks and the others through her discovery Anne Frank's diary. She preserved the loose pages of the diary until Otto Frank, the lone survivor of the family and Anne's father, returned after the war, claimed then and eventually published one of the best known books in the world.

Gies never particularly thought of herself as heroic. Yet when we read about her or Corrie Ten Boom (or the many others who hid Jews and other persecuted peoples at other times in history), we often think of them as heroes. And we ask ourselves, "Could I do that?" Would I risk my family's health and safety, much less my own, to save someone else?

It's a question worth asking. Yet in the asking- it's always distant. Aren't there people now, causes now, who could use your help? What are you willing to risk, to do without, to take a stand for- for them?

Matthew 25:31-45

31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” 41Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”44Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” 45Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

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