Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Face to Face"

Carrie Elizabeth Ellis Breck was born January 22, 1855 in Walden, Vermont but spent most of her early life in southern New Jersey where her family had moved.

She and her husband, Frank Breck, moved to Oregon some time between 1910 and 1920. Carrie was a devout Christian. She devoted her life to serving her husband and five daughters. It was a demanding life, and she was not in the best of health. She had to take frequent rests while doing her chores and used those times to write poems. She would sit in her rocking chair with her notebook, pen and, very often, a little one on her lap or playing nearby. Although she couldn't carry a tune, she had a gift for the rhythm and beauty of poetry. She wrote over 2000 poems in her lifetime.

In 1898 she sent one of those poems to the well-know composer Grant Colfax Tuller. As Providence would have it, it arrived on a day when Mr Tuller was revising a hymn he had written earlier. He was happy with the melody but felt the words he had written were not quite right. The words of Carrie's poem fit his melody exactly - not one word or note needed to be revised. The name of the hymn is "Face to Face."

Face to Face

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 I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkling veil between;
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.


What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.


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.


There is such powerful truth and glorious hope in this words; they draw out equally powerful emotions. I am thankful for this sweet homemaker who used a precious gift to give us a priceless treasure. Carrie died March 27, 1984.