“You have to put heat to it to make it hold its shape!” my stepdaughter protested. She who is completing her senior year in fashion design at SCAD is advising me. She who would watch needle pulling thread and Parent Trap on the couch beside me years go is now advising me.
I comply; but ironing is not my favorite task.
Pulling out the board, that looks so much like the board my mother used fifty years ago, I set the iron, more complicated than she has known, on to the board.
Spray starch now. Back when my mother was younger it was a mix of starch and water in a coke bottle with an aluminum top and cork bottom that allowed a sprinkle of the mixture on the linen and cotton clothes.
Steam rolls from the hot iron indicating that the correct temperature has been reached.
Pressing the fabric down – heat pressing compliance, steam rolls up and above my head rising up, up – And I watch water change into vapor and rise.
Putting this dress together for the Granddaughter, I construct the form, and then apply heat to causing it to hold that shape that I have determined it to have.
Is this how it is with God? He teaches us in the way we should go, he determines our form and purpose, and then applies the heat so that the form in permanently set?
Then the fiery trials we encounter are moments for praise, this is a time of rejoicing, for He is sealing us as His forever. And just as the fragrance of starch on freshly ironed laundry is distinctive, so is the fragrance of Christ distinctive in our lives.
So my Father in Heaven, in the fiery trials of life, I give you thanks.