Tag Archives: God

The Warsaw Uprising

On any given day you can look back into the scope of human history and find the events that marked that particular date and what made them significant enough to impact the fabric of our time.

January 18th, 1943- a small group of Jewish men

decided to react against hatred.


The Warsaw ghetto was the largest in all of Poland. It housed well over 400,000 Jews in conditions that were deplorable. Starvation, typhoid fever and random killing sprees by the Nazi’s were just a few of the hazards to residing in Warsaw’s ghetto. Throughout the year of 1942 thousands upon thousands were deported to Treblinka, a large extermination camp. Within the year… over 300,000 were exported by the masses to their deaths.

But there was a remnant… shipping of Jews from Warsaw had ceased for a time. From the fall of 1942 to the winter of 1943 there was a significant decrease in the deportation of Jews to Treblinka. But the ones that remained lived on a shallow breath, knowing that at any time it could resume.

January 18th, the Nazi troops began organizing… more Jews were to be sent to the death camp. But… within the shallow breathing remnant, there came a realization that led to action. No longer would they be treated as animals, no longer would they be treated as unpersons, there was a realization that they still possessed humanity, despite how they had been dispersed, disregarded and degraded.

On a preplanned signal, a small group of men turned on those who had kept them prisoner. There, in the ghetto they had come to know as home- they started an uprising.

Although in the short scope of things, the uprising at Warsaw did not turn out in the Jews favor- it did start a liberation. There has been movie after movie made about the Warsaw ghetto and the uprising that happened there. The utter darkness that the evil of men had cast throughout Nazi-occupied Poland was not enough to destroy a people who suffered as the target of that evil. The liberation and understanding of their humanity gave rise to a renewed hope that there was light at the end of it all. That one day there wouldn’t be any more destruction and death.

And here we are… almost 70 years later, most of the survivors are gone now…only a few remain.  The Nazi’s who tortured, burned, destroyed and killed this people group have been brought under the strong arm of justice. Why not take just a moment to remember those who died simply because of who they were born as. But…I am not Jewish and logistically most of you are not either. So, why should it matter to us?

The same reasons rape, murder, abuse, hatred, racism and all other forms of violence should matter to us. When we see things like this that mar our history, it doesn’t matter if we are or would have been included in that particular population. It matters because it isn’t a white or black issue, it’s not a male or female issue, it’s not an intelligence and handicap issue…

 

It’s a human issue.

 

“We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.

We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers

from Prague, Paris and Amsterdam,

and because we are only made of fabric and leather

and not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hellfire.”

 

The Holocaust

The Warsaw Ghetto

Movies about the Warsaw Ghetto and Treblinka:

The Pianist

Defiance

Uprising

Jakob the Liar


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Filed under Human Interest

Strange Assumptions

There are a few assumptions that I’ve developed through the course of my life that are extremely inaccurate. With some of them I wonder how uniquely my mind must have functioned to rationalize these…

  1.  I used to believe the light in the refrigerator was always on. I distinctly remember standing in front of the fridge carefully opening and closing it to see if it actually did turn off when I closed the door. I was never quick enough… so I just assumed the light was always on.
  2.  I remember asking my Dad what his favorite animal was,  he answered “Wolverine” which made absolutely no sense to me as I was certain wolverines did not exist. I have never seen one and had no knowledge of X-men, I just assumed he was making up various mythical animals just to be mean.
  3. I used to believe I could never have straight hair. That no matter what, all the days of my life I would have curly hair. Which did not settle well with me; as my sister had beautiful, long, blonde straight hair. (I also remember thinking it was very unfair that straight people could curl their hair, because I of course would never have these options)

I’ve come to realize the error of my ways with these assumptions, that I can have straight hair and wolverines really do exist… although I’m still not sure what one looks like or where to find it. But I’ve grown, matured and realized a few things about they way life is and the way the world works.

There is one assumption that I continue to battle with though…

I assume there are a number of people in my life that “have it together”. From the outside looking in, I really do think that they live the charmed life. I mean, I know what my life is like; and I’m sure there are people who think I probably have it together somewhat– but they are so wrong. As am I.

We seem to have developed this art of maintaining a manicured appearance that is picture perfect. We don’t expose our weaknesses, we don’t get vulnerable and we never allow people to see that we are running on empty.

But, how does that proclaim the glory and might of the Lord? I can think of very distinct conversations with people in my life whom I respect and love very much that have exposed their weaknesses and emptiness to their very core… and each time I catch a glimpse of God’s beauty and grace. Each time it has only led to encouragement, deeper friendship, more love and greater respect within that relationship.

We are so afraid to expose ourselves– I know I am. I don’t like it when people see my life out of control or seeing me be completely empty and trying to regain my spiritual footing. But the Lord’s redemption speaks of a different plan. Sarah Young puts out a daily reading book each year, and each year that I go through it I find more treasures. This is her entry for Today in her book Jesus Calling– take note… you don’t have to be ashamed of emptiness:

Let me bless you with my grace and peace. Open your heart and mind to receive all that I have for you. Do not be ashamed of your emptiness. Instead, view it as the optimal condition for being filled with my peace.

 It is easy to touch up your outward appearance, to look as if you have it all together. Your attempts to look good can fool most people. But I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. Rejoice in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy. Little by little, I will transform your weaknesses into strengths. Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace. Therefore, nothing that you do or don’t do can separate you from my presence.

 I Sam 16:7– But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 Romans 8:38-39- And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Happy Friday 🙂

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Filed under Reflection

here lie the bones.

Epitaph: A brief statement commemorating or epitomizing a deceased person or something past.

Each day I realize with growing certainty that my epitaph will; in all likelihood, resemble something close to-

“Here lie the bones of Tiffany Eriksen, a horrible wretch of a woman, selfish, proud and self-serving.”

So the question posed is, ‘What will your life speak about you when you’re gone?’ As you can see; if I were to… say, fall of my roof tonight as I go out for my nightly dose of star-gazing and die, I don’t know that my epitaph would say quite what I intended for it to.

A principle similar to my opinions on testimonies, I am convinced that when you form a simple summing up of your life, (the epitaph) it should wholly reflect the glory of God. When I just simply glance at what my life says about me through the lens of my daily sin filled life then that is exactly what I am, a horrible wretch of a woman.

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Filed under Reflection