• Leigh Gerstenberger

The Tapestry of Our Lives

Updated: Oct 25



In recent weeks I’ve had a number of friends share a variety of crises that have been occurring in their lives. Financial struggles, business challenges, health and interpersonal issues with family and friends and even issues around their identity.


One friend in the midst of unpacking his frustrations then segued to the story of Corrie ten Boom and a poem she wrote.


Cornelia (Corrie) ten Boom was born on April 15, 1892 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Soon after Corrie's birth, her father inherited the family watch shop at 19 Barteljorisstraat in the city of Haarlem and moved there with his family. The not-not-roomy living quarters above the watch shop were occupied by Corrie, her three siblings, their parents and three of her maternal aunts.


The ten Boom family had a great interest in and love for the Jewish people. In 1844, Corrie's great-grandfather, Willem ten Boom, started a meeting dedicated to praying for the Jewish people. In 1944, exactly one hundred years later, Corrie and her family were arrested for their part in saving Jewish lives during World War II. Most were released, but four members of the family died during their imprisonment.


After she was set free from Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in Germany, Corrie ten Boom went around the world for thirty-three years, from 1944 to 1977, speaking in sixty-four countries.


The movie, The Hiding Place tells the story of her life. On February 28, 1977, at the age of 85, she settled down in a rented house in Placentia, California, completed several book manuscripts, and made filmed versions of her messages, directed by James Collier, who had also directed the movie.


In August 1978, she suffered the first of three serious strokes which eventually confined her to bed in the front room of the home, which she had named Shalom House. It was there that she passed away on April 15, 1983 - on her ninety-first birthday.


As all of the women in my extended family are involved with the fiber arts, the title of this poem, Life is but a Weaving is particularly significant to me. I hope it encourages you today.



Life is but a Weaving (The Tapestry Poem)

by Corrie ten Boom


My life is but a weaving,

Between my God and me.

I cannot choose the colors

He weaveth steadily.


Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow,

And I in foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper

And I the underside.


Not ’til the loom is silent

And the shuttles cease to fly

Will God unroll the canvas

And reveal the reason why.


The dark threads are as needful

In the weaver’s skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver,

In the pattern He has planned.


He knows, He loves, He cares.

Nothing this truth can dim.

He gives the very best to those

Who leave the choice to Him.


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