Many years ago I was privileged to be in the film “The Hiding Place”.  Every effort and expense were focused on the event of its premier in California.  The Christian community was praying that this opening’s publicity would introduce the film to the general public.  We settled into the auditorium.  Suddenly, a little crackle of sound in front of the theater, people moved to the aisles, puffs of smoke flowed quickly!  Someone intent on stopping that movie had thrown a bomb into the packed theater; a bomb marked with a swastika and filled with deadly gases.  The crowd emptied onto the street, sirens preceded the fire engines, the ill were rushed to hospitals.  Dr. Graham told us the premiere, so costly and so well intended, would be canceled!  Plans prayed for and programmed were dismissed.  God’s movie would lose its one sure chance for making itself known.  We had lost!  Except for one little thing; as we walked away from that darkened theater, we saw the mobile units of the media.  They were coming to cover the bombing and, starting with the next morning’s news, our film that had struggled to get any kind of coverage, was on every morning, noon and evening news show!  God is the Divine Transformer!  What evil meant for destruction, God used for good!  Let Him do that in your life today.  Give Him the dilemma, the action taken against you, His child, and watch Him work.

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During the filming of THE HIDING PLACE, Jimmy Collier, our so splendid director, asked me to jot down my favorite Bible verse for him to consider adding to one impromptu scene.  He said he would also select one verse and we would choose from the two of them.  When we got together, we found we had each selected the same verse.

It was added improvisationally at the last of the shooting in the concentration camp.  A group of prisoners are stuffing straw into baskets under the watchful eye of their German guard.  As Corrie ten Boom, I was teaching the Bible to the other prisoners between the turns in the guard’s watch. The verse Jimmy and I chose was whispered in spurts that we would not be punished by the guard on duty – and this was the one verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The scene was shot in two takes – a remarkable feat.  Every time I see it, I think of Jimmy; my wonderfully gifted friend who committed his career not to the movies of the world, although he had many opportunities, but to telling the world of God Who loved so much.

What would you tell others, if you had but a handful of minutes over a basketful of straw?

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My good friend, Emmy Collier called me from California to share with me some exciting news, the film The Hiding Place is to be in the Holocaust Museum in Washington!  Emmy’s husband, Jimmy, was the incredibly gifted director of that amazing film in which I was privileged to play the part of Corrie ten Boom.  I was delighted as I heard the news, however, that evening I was also writing a paper that had a deadline the next morning and the news of The Hiding Place slipped out of priority in my thoughts.  The next two days were busy.  I was starting a new class in ensemble theater for our Company’s Interns, a day full of office work and various writing assignments.  Last night I thought back to the happy conversation with Emmy and realized I had accepted that great news, somehow tucked it into the immediate crisis of my agenda, and overlooked any time of praise to God.  This wondrous gift of God’s honoring a work in which I had participated, was quite casually dismissed without proper recognition of its importance.

The Bible says there were ten lepers healed by Christ and only one returned to praise and thank Him.  Our petitions have priority more often than our thanks.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow before the flowing slips unnoticed into the river of our daily agenda.  The discipline of ‘gratitude’ is one that needs constant exercise.  And, Oh, Lord, thank Your for Your ongoing work through that film, The Hiding Place.