|An early photo of the ten Boom family. (source)|
I’ve often wondered what I would do if I lived in Europe during World War II. Would I risk my life for outcasts, or would I concentrate on my own safety? It’s easy to say that I would risk my life. But do I really know? Truthfully, none of us do.
A few weeks ago, my mom pointed out something very interesting. Remember the ten Booms? The heroic family who created a Hiding Place for Jews and unwanted people? The elderly father and two spinster sisters who risked their lives? Yes. Them.
Do you know what they were doing before Hitler and his Nazi regime? They were reaching out. They held clubs for children and young people. They took soup to the sick and elderly. They helped with the mentally disabled. They were always reaching out, always helping the needy.
It wasn’t a new thing for them to help people. It wasn’t new for them to care deeply. It wasn’t new for them to show God’s love through their actions. When the Nazis arrived, they were slammed in the face with risks and danger. The danger and scariness was new, but the caring and doing came naturally. There wasn’t much question about what they would do, because they were already doing it. You know what? I’d be willing to bet that their friends and neighbors knew it too. They knew that if anyone stuck their necks out, the ten Booms would.
You see where I’m going with this? There’s an easy way to spot the people who would risk their lives. Look for the people who are already giving, already caring for people, and already reaching out to the unwanted. Sure, there will be unexpected heroes and unexpected cowards. But a person’s present deeds, the things they are doing now, are pretty good indicators of where they will stand.