Wisdom From “The Diary of a Young Girl”

porch view 406A few weeks ago my wife and I rented and watched the movie “The Freedom Writers.”  It is based on the true story of a school teacher whose innovative teaching methods transformed the lives of several troubled teenagers.  A large portion of the movie relates to the students’ reaction to reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  Somehow I had managed to live fifty-four years without reading this classic work and the movie inspired me to rectify this.

Reading this book has certainly instilled within me a greater appreciation for the freedom we have here in the United States.  Reading about Anne and her family hiding from the Nazis for such a long period you realize that it is a mistake to take our freedom for granted.  I cannot imagine having to endure what the Frank family did.  Reading this book has brought home to me the tragedy of the Holocaust in ways I could not have imagined.

Within the pages of The Diary of a Young Girl I also came across a beautiful passage that deserves to be shared with you today.  In her entry for February 23, 1944, Anne writes: “The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God.  For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity.  As long as this exists, and that should be forever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances.  I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer.”  A few paragraphs later she concludes this entry by saying, “Whenever you’re feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside.  Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky.  As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that you’re pure within and will find happiness once more.”

For the last few years of her short life Anne’s experience with nature was limited to brief peeks out the window and observing the sky from the loft of the Secret Annex.  It brought her great joy just to see the moon. 

It amazes me that a fourteen year old girl wrote the words cited above.  Surely she possessed a wisdom well beyond her years.  I’m so thankful that her journal survived and got published.  I am thankful that despite her horrible circumstances nature afforded Anne Frank moments of joy.  I am thankful that God’s Creation continues to be “the best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy.”

–Chuck

(I took the picture above of the trees and sky from my porch yesterday.)