This song reminds me of what biographer Carl Sandburg had to say about Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The mother of Abraham Lincoln is mostly unknown to historians. She died when Lincoln was just a nine-year-old boy. She lived a hard life, as did nearly all American frontier women. Sandburg said this about Nancy Hanks Lincoln:
She read their Bible. One who knew her well said she was "a ready reader." She was a believer and knew--so much of what she believed was yonder--always yonder. Every day came cooking, keeping the fire going, scrubbing, washing, patching, with little time to think or sing of the glory she believed in--always yonder. (Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years, p. 6.)Is a focus on the hope of glory just escapism? It is hard to swallow that when Paul said, "To live is Christ, to die gain." I wonder if one blessing of affliction and hardship is that we are better able to yearn for glory yonder.