It was a good day for a long Sunday drive. So, we went back to the family farm.

After a nice visit from variously situated lawn furniture, my husband willingly drove me between tall fields of corn to near where my brothers and I used to have tea with our grandparents on Sunday afternoons.

I remember walking that driveway at dusk a few times in the winter when the snow drifts were a little too deep to drive through but you could sort of skirt around the edges on foot. I thought the distance might seem shorter now then when I was in grade school, but it didn’t.

There were a few orange lilies blooming near where we stopped the car. I picked one for the dashboard.

On the drive down, I’d read a booklet my grandmother’s brother’s boy-turned-minister had written about why Christians suffer. I was more interested in it now than the first time I saw it because I’d recently come across a copy of my grandmother’s will and found it interesting reading. The one sheet of paper with single spaced typing starts out “... and being mindful of the uncertainty of human life... .” It goes on to list half-a-dozen entries that neatly add up to 100%, starting with 10% to a church in rural Iowa specifically for their missionary work overseas. She explains her parents’ and brother’s connection to the church. (She also specifically left a car to her oldest daughter, which I must admit I found just as intriguing.)

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Mom and I stopped at the church referred to once upon a time. We’d also previously been to where her ancestors came from in Germany, which was great. But I was just as impressed with the distinguished headstone near the front of the church on the green hill closer to home.

In addition to referring to generations, the booklet talks about being “chastised” (corrected and encouraged not punished) for “coddled sins” and prosperity leading to impertinence. It also mentions “sanctification,” which I remember discussing with a young pastor waiting to see the senior pastor who was mentoring him at work. I don’t think the word “dross” was used and I don’t recall any talk of gold, but the idea of refinement seemed familiar enough.

The main thing I appreciate about this little book is the way it made me feel physically. I dropped it on the floor in the bedroom and getting it out from under the bed led to me being in the classic childhood bedside prayer pose. It was surprisingly comfortable on multiple levels — possibly encouraging precious corrective refinement.