by Lindsay Terry
A pastor, his wife, and Grant Tullar had made their last call on the sick one afternoon in 1898. They hurried to the home of the pastor, wanting to have a bit of supper together before going to the evangelistic meetings that were in progress. Tullar was assisting in those revival services.
In their hurry to get supper on the table, someone failed to fill the jelly dish. There was only a small bite left. The pastor and his wife knew that Tullar was very fond of the jelly, so they both refused it. As the dish was passed to him, he exclaimed, "So this is all for me, is it?" Suddenly, the thought occured to him that "All for Me" was a good title for a song. The small bit of jelly faded into insignificance as Tullar's mind began to think on this new subject. He placed the jelly dish back on the table and immediately excused himself, went to the piano, and composed a melody and wrote several verses.
Before going to bed that evening, Tullar promised the pastor and his wife that he would revise the work somewhat. He never did, because the next morning the postman brought to him a letter from a lady, Mrs. Frank A. Beck. Enclosed were several poems. After reading the very first poem, he became suddenly aware that it exactly fitted the music that he had written the night before. Not a single word of the poem nor his music needed to be changed. After that, he never used his own words, but decided to use those of Mrs. Beck for the song, now titled "Face to Face."
This song has won the hearts of thousands of people around the world because it so wonderfully speaks of our anticipation in seeing Christ one day, face to face, as we now see a friend or loved one. Its words capture the feelings of warmth, brightness, and cheerfulness that expectation imparts:
Face to face with Christ my Savior,
Face to face what will it be?
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me.
Face to face! O blissful moment!
Face to face-to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
Reflection: A life is never so sweet, the future never so bright, and worldly pleasures never so unattractive than when we, through the light of the Bible, learn to anticipate and live in the blessed hope that one day we will see the Lord-face to face.
From Stories Behind Popular Songs and Hymns