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Posts tagged ‘Etty Hillesum’

Wednesday of Hope – Despite Everything . . . Live in Hope

Despite everything, life is full of beauty and meaning.

– Etty Hillesum, Letters from Westerbork

If Etty Hillesum could write this with all she endured, we too can  be women and men of hope, like this sparrow hanging upside down from tender branch in the dead of winter. In 1943 when Etty and her family were placed on a train bound for Auschwitz, she tossed out window a postcard that read, “We have left the camp singing.” She was executed in Auschwitz on November 30, at the age of twenty-nine.

One Important Thing

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.

– Etty Hillesum

Wednesday of Hope – Life Worth Living

Before, I always lived in anticipation . . . that it was all a preparation for something else, something “greater,” more “genuine.” But that feeling has dropped away from me completely. I live here and now, this minute, this day, to the full, and the life is worth living.

– Etty Hillesum, Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum

Wednesday of Hope – Gratitude and Hope in the Face of Terror


Etty Hillesum is such example of courage, compassion and hope in the face of the most horrific times in our recent history.

As life becomes harder and more threatening, it also becomes richer, because the fewer expectations we have, the more good things of life become unexpected gifts that we accept with gratitude.

– Etty Hillesum, Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943, p.466, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

Wednesday of Hope – Never Give Up

There are moments when I feel like giving up or giving in, but I soon rally again and do my duty as I see it: to keep the spark of life inside me ablaze.

– Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life

Wise Advice from Etty Hillesum

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Even if I should be locked up in a narrow cell and a cloud should drift past my small barred window, then I shall bring you that cloud, Oh God, while there is still the strength in me to do so.
– Etty Hillesum
An Interrupted Life

The Well is Deep

There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there too. But more often stones and grit block the well, and God is buried beneath. Then God must be dug out again.

– Etty Hillesum, from The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943

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Drop a plumb line down your well