Thankful For The Fleas

Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who helped hide Jews during the advent of the Nazi regime during World War II. After being arrested for this, Corrie and he sister Betsie were placed in a concentration camp. Corrie documented much of her life in her book The Hiding Place. In it, she recounts a story when they were just taken to the concentration camp. She and Betsie were complaining because of the environment and circumstances when they realized that that morning they had just read 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Since they were reminded to give thanks in all situations, they began to verbally list what they were thankful for. One of the things Bestie stated she was thankful for was for the fleas. Corrie laughed it off and couldn’t believe she would say she was thankful for the fleas, as she documented that they were literally everywhere, even in their stinky straw beds. It was not too long later when both Betsie and Corrie realized that the reason they had so much freedom in their living quarters (reading the Bible, talking about God, and so on) was because of the all the fleas; no guard wanted to enter! (Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place, with Elizabeth and John Sherrill [1971; repr., Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2006], 209–10, 220).