The Weeping Stopped the Car

by Lindsay Terry

Song: "We Shall Behold Him"

Scripture: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him. and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." - Revelation 1:7

In the person of Dottie Rambo, the small rural town of Madisonville, Kentucky, gave to the world one of the all-time great gospel songwriters. Songs that are meaningful to Christians everywhere literally flowed from her pen. There seems to be no end to the list of favorites.

Dottie's ventures in poetry and songwriting started at age eight and continued until her death on May 11, 2008, with hundreds of songs emanating from a very creative mind. Unlike many other songwriters, a myriad of her songs have unusual stories behind them. Such is the writing of the song which is the subject of this story. She has written songs in times of sadness as well as in times of celebration and joy-hundreds of them.

One evening in 1981, after reaching what seemed to be the top of her writing career, Dottie was to once again receive from the Lord a truly marvelous song for Christians everywhere. In an interview several years ago she told me this story:

"I was singing with my husband, Buck, and another young lady in a tent revival in Ohio. One evening as we were traveling to the large tent from our motel room-Buck had gone on ahead with the ministers-we pulled out of the driveway of the motel about time the sun was setting. I looked up and saw a beautiful and unusual cloud formation. I have always loved unusual cloud formations and have often been fascinated when I saw in the clouds something that resembled a person or an object.

"I sensed as I watched that the Lord was about to give me something wonderful for the church. I saw colors that I had never seen in my lifetime. It seemed that the clouds almost took on the form of angels. The colors were so brilliant and unusual: blues, azures, and amber.

"Presently the clouds parted and there seemed to be a straight passageway through the formation. By this time I was weeping so much that I couldn't see to drive. It seemed, as the clouds parted, as if I could see in my mind's eye the Savior coming in the clouds, with trumpets sounding. I said to my young companion, Patty, you're going to have to drive. I can no longer see.' We changed places and continued toward the tent. Patty asked, What is wrong? Are you sick?' She didn't know that the Lord was giving me a song. It was being written in my heart because I had nothing on which to write.

"I then said, Patty, would you like to hear what the Lord just gave to me?' I began to sing my song. Soon she was weeping and had to pull the car to the side of the road. We were a little late to church that night, but before we reached the tent the Lord had given me the whole song. When I got there I could play the entire piece on my guitar. Every phrase was exactly as it should be. Changes were not necessary. It just came like a dayspring."

Sandi Patti recorded "We Shall Behold Him," helping to make the song known in almost every nook and cranny of our nation. Because of this song, Sandi Patti was named vocalist of the year in 1981. In that same year Dottie Rambo received Dove awards as songwriter of the year, and the song itself was named song of the year. Thank you, Dottie Rambo, for giving to the world "We Shall Behold Him."

The Lord's coming is the beginning of an eternity of joy for every Christian. What a marvelous day when we behold the Savior-"Face to face, in all of His glory!"

Lindsay Terry has been a song historian for more than 40 years, being published
in a number of publications, including Pulpit Helps. He has also written
some 34 books and church training manuals.

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