One of the world’s most famous books of all time was a journal written by a young girl named Anne Frank, who for two years hid with her family from the Nazis in an Amsterdam attic. Anne is said to have received the journal for her 13th birthday and began journaling inside her diary on this day, Sunday, June 14 — in 1942.
What I find most interesting about Anne was her desire to rewrite her diary in the form of a novel, The Secret Annex, and to publish it after the war. How could a young girl be so optimistic in such perilous times? She and her entire family and four others were hiding in a small room from radical killers — haters of the Jews— and she was also creating stories and sharing her most intimate thoughts and dreams for a world to later read.
Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to publish her novel. Three days after Anne’s last entry on August 1, 1944, she and her family were captured by the Gestapo. She was later sent to Auschwitz before dying in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp from a contagious disease.
Does this remind you of our world today? People are dying from disease, hiding with their families from a killer, evil propaganda of division and hatred have hijacked righteous protests and is now spreading throughout the land. Will anyone speak up and say something that heals? Is there another story to tell? Where do we carry our burdens?
“The finest thing of all is that I can at least write down what I think and feel, otherwise I would suffocate completely.” Anne Frank
Anne was wise beyond her years. Many of her journal entries are relevant still. She challenges us especially now with her words: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Years later, Anne’s father, her only surviving family member from that secret room, would share her book, her diary, with the world and it has become one of the most famous books of all time.
“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!” Anne Frank
Dear Lord, help each reader to keep dreaming even when death and lies are all around. Help us to place our eyes on You, our only Savior, and equip us to do our work in whatever form, in whatever unjust circumstances. Help us to journal the matters of our hearts and use our writing voices as light in the darkness, giving the lost, hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
How are you using your writing voice? What can we learn from a young Anne Frank?