On the Doorstep of Glory

Over the past week a hymn I have not heard or sung in decades kept popping into my mind. It’s a hymn written by Charles H. Gabriel in 1900 titled Oh, That Will Be Glory.

Dad leading music at a camp

Dad leading music at a camp

I believe I know why the song has come back to me. When I was a child, and for years into my adulthood, my dad was the music director in our church. Every Sunday, and at every other special service, he would stand before our church and ask us to take the hymnal from the pew and then he would wave his hands to the beat of the hymn and lead us in singing. I can still hear his tenor voice in front of that microphone in the pulpit, loudly exhorting us to sing—which we did.

Out of all the songs my dad led us in singing, this is the one that has been implanted back into my memory the last few days.  It began this past weekend as I sat by him in the den of my parents’ home where my dad’s favorite chair has now been replaced with a hospital bed. Parkinson’s is quietly wielding its last fatal blows. We are grateful for prayers, family and friends visiting, care-givers, and now, Hospice. However, the greatest comfort comes in the truth of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ as proclaimed in God’s Word and echoed via the songs of our faith.

A song that was once so enthusiastically sung in anticipation of the future is now a proclamation of an imminent reality for my dad. On this Good Friday as we remember the cost of our salvation, we can also relish the prize of the cross. A prize my dad is about to experience.

 Oh, That Will Be Glory

When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.


Oh, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

When, by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

Friends will be there I have loved long ago;
Joy like a river around me will flow;
Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know,
Will through the ages be glory for me.


NOTE: I wrote this on Thursday and scheduled it to be posted on Friday morning. I didn’t know that before the sun would set on Thursday Daddy would be experiencing “glory.”   “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (I will share more about my dad in my next post.)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pam Thrasher on March 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Jack, our hearts are broken at the loss of your
    Dad. How well I remember him standing in front of our church leading this song! He is in some of my earliest memories
    and has always been a constant in my life. He and your mom took our youth group on camping trips, taught our ensemble and took us to churches to sing and constantly had us over to your house. He sent me on my first job interview while in high school and gave Randy his first real job after college that supported our family. We both learned so much from him He also helped to fill a very empty dad spot in my life. I will forever be thankful that God placed him in my life and for the Godly influence he had. Praying for your mom and all of you. Love you!


    • Posted by jackwbruce on March 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Pam, Dad and Mom both have thought the world of you and Randy. Thank you for your kind comments.


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