Steal a Pencil for Me

I’m drawn to documentaries and films about German-occupied Europe. If it weren’t documented, we might not believe it happened. Taken from your home and grabbed by guards — never to return. All belongings and sense of home and life vanished. Next, you’re hauled to a train going where you have no idea what know your life will be, but you know family members went and never returned. We can’t imagine.

Concentration camp “living” was in horrific conditions. It wasn’t sacrifice; nothing of value was offered up; it was seized. But they suffered greatly.

I watched “Steal a Pencil for Me” on Netflix. It begins with Jack and Ida celebrating his 90th birthday and their 60th anniversary. A beautiful story of lovers taken from Holland and sent to the same camp and barracks.

They survived by their powerful love and ability to see humanity amidst unimaginable suffering.

Each obtained a pencil and paper and secretly wrote notes to each other — their reason to live. Watching is difficult at times, but beautiful altogether. But surprising lessons will be revealed.

Do we know suffering or sacrifice? Yes, we live in challenging times with a deadly virus and its fallout. Medical personnel know suffering and sacrifice. Wearing a mask isn’t either; it’s caring for each other as humans. Let’s sacrifice pride.

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