Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pondering Pages/An Interrupted Life

I've been really slacking in the book-reading department of late. I guess I've been spending too much time reading the blogs instead!

Here's a book I read a year ago, it is an absolute favorite!

An Interrupted Life is the diary of Etty Hillesum. Etty was a Dutch Jew during World War II and she ended up dying in the concentration camps. This book is her story in prayers and conversation with God in the few years preceding her death. It is a very inspiring tale, telling how she came from very little faith, to a very deep faith. Her words and prayers moved me deeply.

Here are some favorite quotes:

"I love people so very terribly, because in every human being I love something of You."

"The jasmine behind my house has been completely ruined by the rains and storms of the last few days, its white blossoms are floating about in muddy black pools on the low garage roof. But somewhere inside me the jasmine continues to blossom undisturbed, just as profusely and delicately as it ever did. And it spreads its scent around the House in which You dwell, oh God. You can see, I look after You, I bring You not only my tears and forebodings on this stormy, grey Sunday morning, I even bring You scented jasmine."

"You are sure to go through some lean times with me now and then, when my faith weakens a little, but believe me, I shall always labor for you and remain faithful to You and I shall never drive You from my presence."

"And what those who say 'You live too intensely' do not know is that one can withdraw into a prayer as into a convent cell and leave again with renewed strength and with peace regained."

"And when the turmoil becomes too great and I am completely at my wits end, then I still have my folded hands and my bended knee...it is my most precious inheritance...the girl who learned to pray. That is my most intimate gesture, more intimate than even being with a man. After all, one can't pour the whole of one's love out over a single man, can one?"

These beautiful heart-felt journal prayers just drew me in and made me want to love God more, to give Him everything. It was a great inspiration to me. I pray that you, dear reader, will feel the same way. Happy reading!


  1. Thank you! I've read so much *about* Etty Hillesum. Now I'll go find this book!

  2. The likening of "prayer" as to a "convent cell"...I LOVE THAT!
    Thanks Anne...I would like to learn more about this remarkable woman.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation! I have to say that the picture of you and your daughter a couple of days ago is so BEAUTIFUL!! What a lucky hubby you have :)

  4. Beautiful and inspiring! A song in one's soul!

  5. They are beautiful and very much in touch with what I have been reading lately. This last line of the Introduction to thebook I am reading really made a lot of sense to my life lately. "Injustice, suffering, guilt, affliction are the actual means through which the soul remembers the Word (Jesus) and expresses its longing for Him."

  6. Thank you for reminding me about this book. I read it several years ago & will have to reread it. You pulled some gems from the pages!!!

  7. I have read that book at least 3 times!! Beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for reminding me. I may have to go read it again!