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Minor Character?

GiesWhile in Amsterdam, we visited the home of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who kept a diary while living in hiding during the German occupation in World War II. The diary was found after her death in a concentration camp, was published and is now regarded as an important book documenting a portion of our world history, and has been required reading in many schools over generations.
The home is now a museum, and the public has the opportunity to walk through the building, which consists of a storefront and two rooms that housed two families for more than 24 months. When they went into hiding, the children were not allowed to even look out a window for more than two years. Anne was thirteen when they disappeared.
Something that struck me on this tour was the role of the secretary at this business, her name was Miep Gies. We learned that she had been working with Anne’s father, Otto Frank at the business and that the Frank family was in danger of deportation, so they sat down with Mrs. Gies and asked if she would help them disappear. The woman didn’t hesitate; she knew what the right answer was, and she gave it. Miep Gies supplied food, clothing and all other needs for two years, boosted morale among the hiding and risked her life for the safety of two families. It had to be an incredibly stressful life, being responsible for the safety of others and living an ordinary life to those around her.
This woman’s role caught my attention because she was a seemingly minor character in the story, but without her there would have been nothing to tell. When we look back in time it is usually clear who the heroes and villains are, but as you’re living life, it’s not always so obvious.
I want to be a woman who knows what the right answer is, without hesitation.
I want to then act on that knowledge.
I want to be content to play a minor role in a bigger story.
I want to remember the name and the story of Miep Gies.

Gies2

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9 responses »

  1. Very inspiring! A good story to start my day.

    Reply
  2. Excellent! Definitely food for thought.

    Reply
  3. Pete Anderson

    Love it

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply
  4. Believe it or not, I have never read Anne Frank’s Diary. I have a copy of it that I’ve had for many years, but have never gotten around to it. I hope I will someday! Great thought about being willing to play a minor role. As children of God, indeed, that is really the only role we can play!

    Reply
  5. I suppose that is why heroes never feel heroic. They are just ordinary people who chose to do the right thing which history later determined to be an extraordinary thing for the time. I have not doubt every “hero” asked would say, “I was just doing the right thing.”

    Reply
    • Hmm…..so maybe the definition if a hero is someone who knows the right decision and acts on it.

      Reply
      • Yeah. What you said.
        I want to be a woman who knows what the right answer is, without hesitation.
        I want to then act on that knowledge.
        I was just expounding on why “heroes” feel so uncomfortable being elevated to super human status.

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