Faith in Fleas

Dear Readers:

I have come to the conclusion that there are some stories that we should keep locked up in our memory treasure chest… ready to re-tell at just the right moment.

It appears that this is exactly what happened to me yesterday while researching a completely different topic!

When this book popped up in my Amazon collection of books ordered over the years… one story from it planted itself in my memory and I began to smile in spite of the tragic circumstances surrounding the true setting…the Holocaust.

Betsie and Corrie ten Boon

Betsie and Corrie spent time in the notorious Ravensbruck Concentration Camp north of Berlin for hiding Jews in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Together they were thrown in Barracks 28… the stench from the reeking straw had both sisters struggling against nausea.

Suddenly Corrie sat up, striking her head in the cross-slats above… something had pinched her leg!

” Fleas!” she screamed. ” Betsie, this place is swarming with them.”

Betsie was already at prayer asking God to show them how to tolerate the nasty fleas. Suddenly she told Corrie God had given her the answer !

She opened her Bible and began to read…” Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. ”

Betsie immediately began thinking of everything about their new barracks that was good. The sisters had not been separated but were together, there was no initial inspection so no one found their Bible and finally she thanked God for the crowding so more women could hear the Word of God from their daily devotions.

Betsie then added … ” And thank you God for the fleas !” Corrie exploded shouting ” There’s no way even God could be thankful for fleas!” Betsie just smiled and repeated ” Give thanks in all circumstances.”

After their allotted ladles of turnip soup the women would gather around one small light bulb that cast just enough light to read scripture. No guard ever came near them so the women grew bolder and the numbers listening grew.

One night when Corrie got back to the barracks Betsie greeted her with a twinkle in her eyes. ” I just solved a mystery today… you know we have wondered why no guards ever enter Barracks 28 and we have had the freedom to read the Bible? “

” Betsie could not keep the triumph from her voice: ” Because of the fleas! No guards will enter our barracks because it is crawling with fleas!”

Betsie had been right in giving thanks to God for everything… including His fleas.”

So until tomorrow… Barracks 28 was known as the ” crazy place where women have Hope.” And hope they had-a living hope. Hope in the midst of darkness and yes… fleas!

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

September came in so beautifully yesterday… cooler morning temps while Vickie helped me with some yard work! Best Neighbor Award… hands down!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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6 Responses to Faith in Fleas

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky…hope all went well on Monday with your appt. We are NC checking on family but I have had you in my thoughts and prayers.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Loss of weight and blood work somewhat askew but thankfully the PA decided to give me until my next scheduled visit to get my weight and blood work back to normal…after we talked about what all has been going on recently in my life. Whew…felt like I dodged a big one…calling for more tests. 🙂 A reprieve.


  2. Funny story, but great reminder to give thanks in all circumstances… Sometimes the things that we think are terrible, not good… Turn out to be gifts in disguise! Thank you for your stories… They brighten my day and get me thinking🙏🏻🌟💕


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Exactly Lisa…and most of the time what circumstances we deem good or bad are just that way in how we approach and label it.


  3. Jo Dufford says:

    Prayers for you to get weight up and for next tests to be good. Loved the story. You put the right story out at just the right time for me. Thanks.


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