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Singing with the Saints

Singing with the Saints

February 13, 2017 7:05 pm9 comments

I have been trying to write about my father’s death. He died in July. I have a lot of stuff bubbling around my mind around his death, and have put some of it down. But it is much harder than I thought to keep it coherent and meaningful. I know what the title will be (Seven Last Words), but it is turning out to be pretty challenging to complete. So here is a little piece of it, maybe posting this will get me going on the rest.

Heaven’s getting ready
For an end it all celebration
To begin eternity
With a righteous congregation,
This world’s comin’ to an end
And it won’t be long
The party’s gonna’ start
And go on and on and on
I’ll be singin’ with the saints
At the morning light,
Ringin’ in the day
‘Cause there is no night.
Sayin’ goodbye to the heartache,
Trouble and pain,
I’ll be sittin’ at the throne
With an angel band,
Shoutin’ hallelujah
To the great I Am
If you think it’s a dream,
Well, it ain’t.
I’ll be singin’ with the saints. (written by Bill Gaither)
A few weeks ago my wife and I attended a Gaither Vocal Band concert in Pensacola with friends from Ft. Walton who had given us tickets for Christmas. I am not sure they knew of our history with the GVB and what it meant to both my wife and I to be invited.
During the concert I felt the loss of my father as strong as at any other time since July. My parents are HUGE Gaither fans. For years they ordered every Homecoming Friends CD and DVD and when they were able, they attended quite a few concerts. Jennifer and I were with them for several.
Back in those days the concerts were much larger. Bill Gaither did an amazing thing with these CDs, DVDs and concerts – he truly honored the legends of gospel music, gave them a chance to perform for a much larger audience, and showcased these giants of that genre. A Gaither concert back then would have quite a few acts in addition to the always amazing Vocal Band. They were funny and inspiring and watching my parents deep joy in attending these concerts, singing along, clapping, smiling, remembering, are some of my best memories of them. My mother’s email even includes the phrase “GaitherGal”! They were groupies to the core. We joined them for concerts in Mobile and Jackson, and Biloxi and Atlanta (and for the Atlanta concert my brother Don arranged for a limo to take them to the concert from his house – they had a BLAST).
The GVB has changed a bit, although Bill Gaither, even at 80, is still quite the entertainer. The harmony is sharp, the individual voices tremendous, the banter hilarious, and the spirit is always present as God is praised in song.
I can’t help but believe, with all my heart, my father is even now “Singing with the Saints in the morning light….saying goodbye to heartache, trouble and pain!”. I like picturing him there with all the old great ones, clapping, singing (and singing well – it is heaven after all!), smiling. He’s right there next to Vestal and Harold Goodman and George Younce and Jessy Dixon and Jake Hess…., I can hear:
The tambourine’s ringin’
And David starts to feel the rhythm.
Paul and Silas are hummin’ a tune
They wrote in prison.
When Gabriel hears the music
And he picks up his horn
It’s just another glory, hallelujah morn.
I’ll be singin’ with the saints
At the morning light,
Ringin’ in the day
‘Cause there is no night.
Sayin’ goodbye to the heartache,
Trouble and pain,
I’ll be sittin’ at the throne
With an angel band,
Shoutin’ hallelujah
To the great I Am
If you think it’s a dream,
Well, it ain’t.
I’ll be singin’ with the saints.
Sing on Dad. Shout that hallelujah. I wept at that concert, missing you but also remembering the joy this music brought to you. And so glad I got to share those moments with you and Mom. The party will go on and on and on….

9 Comments

  • Dinah

    Thanks for sharing your precious story….

  • A beautiful remembrance of a parent and a life well lived. Blessings!

  • That is a wonderful story David. What a great tribute to your dad!

  • Nancy Conley

    What a pleasant surprise I got today; an email from the “Itinerant Priest”. I read all four of your past letters and enjoyed each one and your wonderful messages. You are so special and are continually missed by many people. I’m thinking your Dad was very special too.
    I am sure he is having a ball. God bless

  • Patti Daniell

    What a wonderful testimony to a life well lived and well loved! David your thoughtful words inspire us to cherish the moments shared with those we love💕

  • Dorsey

    How wonderful, David! Keep on writing because it’s an obligation to use your gift. Dorsey (Salerno – from St. Paul’s)

  • Dorsey

    What is “moderation.”

  • Ellen Dodson

    This is a touching reflection…your dad sounds like he was quite a man.

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