Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bob's Blurb

When we went to the OKU Banquet a few weeks back, the pianist was playing a familiar tune. I told Richard I was surprised she was playing, "He Looked Beyond my Fault and Saw my Need" at this banquet (since it was not a Christian organization). Turns out that tune is actually "Danny Boy" - I had no clue. I thought this story was interesting and hope you enjoy it.

Throughout the '60s and '70s, Dottie Rambo, her husband Buck, and their daughter Reba, made up The Singing Rambo’s, one of the most successful southern gospel trios of all time. As the group's main songwriter, Dottie was prolific. Today, hardly any modern hymnal fails to include one or more of her 2,500 songs, including “Sheltered In the Arms of God" and the 1982 Gospel Music Association Song of the Year, "We Shall Behold Him." Her best-known song, by far, is the inspirational song "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need."

In 1970, Dottie began writing a song about the grace of God, but was unable to finish it. When her older brother was hospitalized with cancer and told that he had only weeks to live, Dottie sat by his bedside and ministered to him, praying that he would come to know the Lord. Dottie read the Bible to him and prayed with him as much as she possibly could. One day, after singing at a concert, she returned to ask: "Have you given your life to Jesus since I've been gone?" Eddie, 37, just stared at her with sad eyes. "After the wicked life I've lived, the Lord won't raise a person like me," he muttered, and then reminded her of his time in jail and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.

"The Lord left the 99 to bring a lost sheep like you back to the fold," Dottie told him. She continued to pray for his salvation. Then she went home and finished "He Looked Beyond My Fault." For years Jimmie Davis, the southern gospel singer and former Louisiana governor, had asked her to write a song to the tune of "Danny Boy." With this song, she finally discovered the inspiration. Later that day, she returned to the hospital to sing the song to Eddie.

One Sunday, after she finished singing in an Ohio church, Dottie found her brother so weak that he could barely talk."Yesterday I gave my heart to the Lord and he forgave me," he whispered in Dottie's ear. "When I get to heaven, I'll wait for you at the Pearly Gates so we can enjoy heaven together." Before he died, Eddie asked his sister to sing "He Looked Beyond My Fault" at his funeral. The experience left Dottie even more determined "to share with the many hurting and wounded people in this world the wonderful message of God's great and unconditional love."

Dottie was fatally injured in a bus accident in southwest Missouri early last Sunday morning. The bus was on the way to a Mother's Day performance in North Richland Hills, Texas, and was traveling through high winds when it ran off the road and hit an embankment approximately two miles east of Mount Vernon on Interstate 44. What a wonderful consolation it is to know that Dottie is now face to face with her Savior, undoubtedly realizing that everything she wrote about Him is truer than she ever would have dared to imagine.

Amazing Grace shall always be my song of praise
For it was grace that brought me liberty
I do not know just why He came to love me so
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond my fault and saw my need.

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