The beauty of aging is that long-term memory starts to kick in (don't ask me what I had for breakfast!).
And that's what happened in the midst of a hard time, a bitter yet sweet time, when many gathered to share our corporate sadness, yet rejoicing, at the graduation to glory of our dear brother and friend Craig Steffen.
A singular jewel came forth among all the other gems of stories and memories, tears and laughter. And that jewel was Craig's favorite song, I Am Waiting for the Dawning. I never knew that it was his favorite, but the memory of singing that treasure of a song came flooding back, though only the lyrics were recited by Craig's best friend, Rennes Bowers.
Back in the 1980's when our young family had moved to Dayton from Dallas, Texas, we became part of a brethren-like fellowship called Believers' Assembly. It was a close-knit fellowship made up mainly of young singles and very young families. And it was there that we met Craig and his new bride Cindy, and where we first heard and sang Craig's song.
And so now that many of us are much older and very nostalgic, I want to share the lyrics and the song itself. I grieve that I wasn't able to find an audio of the exact tune we used to sing. If any Believers' Assembly alumni can find it and share it, I would be so grateful! But nonetheless, the following is a sweet one and the words will grab your heart.
Thank you, Craig, for sharing your song. But most of all, thank you Lord Jesus! We look forward to "exploring Your mysteries" all together for all eternity. Amen.
I am waiting for the dawning
Of the bright and blessèd day,
When the darksome night of sorrow
Shall have vanished far away—
When for ever with the Savior,
Far beyond this vale of tears,
I shall swell the song of worship
Through the everlasting years,
Through the everlasting years.
I am looking at the brightness—
See, it shineth from afar—
Of the clear and joyous beaming
Of the Bright and Morning Star.
Through the dark gray mist of morning
Do I see its glorious light;
Then away with every shadow
Of this sad and weary night,
Of this sad and weary night.
I am waiting for the coming
Of the Lord who died for me;
Oh, His words have thrilled my spirit,
I will come again for thee.
I can almost hear His footfall,
On the threshold of the door,
And my heart, my heart is longing,
To be with Him evermore,
To be with Him evermore.