Letter # 29 - In this letter we have a real glimpse of Jan Rubinghís motherís faith and theology, very typical of the Old Reformed adherents. If a letter didnít come now and then, she worried whether or not they were still alive! Sister Heigiena hardly ever writes, but she can certainly scold others!
Wildervank, October, 1876
Dearly Loved son and Daughter and child,
After waiting a long time and anticipating to receive a letter from you, I must at last take up my pen to let you know that through the underserved goodness of the Lord we are still in a state of good health, and hope that you receive these letters in the best of health as well. If it were otherwise, it would cause us great sorrow to hear of it, because I often sit here with a big sigh of longing. Dear ones, how would it be if your loved ones were sick, too, because this summer we have had many hot days and then we read in the paper that in America an exceptional heat rules over all. That often makes me worry if you also are so sick that you could not write us, as you can imagine!
Dear ones, in the flesh we are so distant from one another, so itís very painful for me, for in my heart I am not far from you and so sometimes I long so earnestly to know how it is with you. Dear ones, because of sin mankind is subject to all kinds of problems. We experience that here daily and you will also experience it there because the whole earth is cursed because of sin, and people by nature daily just make the guilt greater! If we observe that, dear ones, then there is always sufficient reason for thankfulness that we may still enjoy so many blessings even so. May we remember that the Lord is great in mercy in Christ. Whenever we through him observe God as our father (also), then our destiny is in the best of hands. Yes, dear ones, that is what I may experience once again, but it is so short in duration. The Lord has to place us where we are, dear ones, otherwise we wouldnít be there, and then everything would be hard and difficult. I know that also well enough. O, may the Lord teach us all mutually to be patient in adversity and thankful in prosperity and in the future to put our trust in him. Then we may proceed on our way more easily, because if I would heed the advice of the flesh nothing would stop me from being with you! May the Lord grant us to be quiet and simply to rest in his way, and may he direct everything to happen for our good. Our life is but a vapor, and death beckons every hour. That is what we experience daily.
You are acquainted with Bentum. Last week he died unexpectedly while he was in the field with the wagon. He fell off the back of it, and the next day died as a result. How it exactly happened I canít say. Foppe Huisman also died last week and Steensma who lives nearby and the wife of Beuker. This also teaches us, dear ones, that sometimes the time is very short. I donít know the details well enough to write about them.
Our Hendrik and Griet sent a letter two weeks ago. At that time they wedre well, and said that if we wrote you we should give the greetings. They had to carry wood to Uitreght and then perhaps they go to the sugar area. They havenít been home for a long time.
Now, dear ones, may the lord grant that you may receive these letters in the best of health. Write us above all how it is with your dear Mettje and with your family. If you have opportunity greet them for us. Now, dear ones, may the lord be our Guide and Leader on all our ways. Now that I have wished you the Lordís blessing for soul and body, I am your loving mother M. J. Boer
If you havenít sent off a letter yet, write soon.
Dear Brother and Sister and child,
Although I donít have anything to write about, I still want to urge you to write us because we havenít had any letter the whole summer at all from you. How can that be? I think that no matter how busy you were, you could write on a Sunday. It doesnít have to be a long letter, but the most important is that we know about each otherís health. Now we would really like it, dear B and S, that you would by return mail, write how it goes with you and our dear Mettje. Once again be heartily greeted from me, your loving sister,