Great Prison Reads About Prison

hiding placeAs I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the blessings and curses in prison is the time you have to do. I chose to use much of my time working to improve in body, mind and spirit. One way I sought to grown in mind and spirit was by reading uplifting, encouraging and enlightening books. Many of these books were about men and women who used their own prison experience to also grow in body, mind and spirit. I highly recommend reading these books either in preparation for prison, or while in prison. You certainly can’t use the excuse that you don’t have time. Click on the the book title to read more and purchase it

  1. Born Again – Chuck Colson
  2. Gulag Archipelgo – Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn
  3. Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela
  4. The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
  5. Letters and Papers from Prison – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  6. Heavenly Man – Paul Hattaway/Brother Yun

Corrie Ten Boom – Forgiveness, Hope and Faith in Prison

hiding place

If you haven’t heard of Corrie Ten Boom, you have missed out on an amazing testimony of perseverance, faith and hope in the face of awesome suffering and tragedy. Corrie and her family were the subject of the book and movie called the Hiding Place. The brief version of the story is that the family lived in Nazi-occupied Holland in WWII and provided sanctuary to Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis. The family was caught and all were sent to concentration camps, Corrie and her sister Betsy to the same ones. Corrie was the only one who survived. Despite her loss, she was able to forgive not only those who betrayed her family, but also the Nazis who killed her family.

One story I particularly appreciate takes place in one of the concentration camps that held her and her sister. Corrie was miserable because of the horrendous conditions, including overcrowding and an infestation of fleas, and complained about it to Betsy. Betsy urged her sister to be grateful for all they have, including the fleas. Betsy could not bring herself to do so,  but Betsy continued to encourage her. It turns out, as they planned to hold Bible studies with a Bible they were able to sneak in, they learned that the guards hated to come to their particular barracks because of the flea infestation. Corrie finally learned to be grateful for everything, even the fleas. What a great example. While I never experienced anything close to Corrie Ten Boom, I did try to have the same spirit of gratitude for everything God provided, even the bitter cold in Ohio, the lack of A/C in sweltering Petersburg and the rats and roaches in Atlanta holdover.

P.S. I strongly recommend reading the book The Hiding Place and seeing the movie by the same name. I also suggest these books by her:

Tramp for the Lord

 In My Father’s House

 Amazing Love

 Not I, But Christ