In the Words of a Song
There are many ways that a husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather can express his love for his family. One way that Willie Dowling did it was in song.
Willie loved to sing. His family will always remember his beautiful baritone voice. Years ago, as his family would travel along long stretches of highway where the radio signal was weak, the Dowling family would pass the time singing, with Willie taking the lead.
Willie’s family will remember many of the songs that he liked to sing. Some of the songs were selected by Willie to express his love in a unique way to certain family members. For example, he would sing “Elizabeth” to his granddaughter, Meggan Elizabeth: “Dressed in dreams for me, you were what I wished to see, Elizabeth” (as sung by Frank Sinatra, one of Willie’s favorites). He would sing “My Michelle” to his other granddaughter, Jamie Michelle: “Michelle, ma belle, These are words that go together well, My Michelle… I love you, I love you, I love you, That’s all I want to say” (from “Michelle” by the Beatles).
Another fun song that Willie would often sing to family members contained these words:
I think I'll eat a tadpole think I'll eat a bug
I've got some worms down in the garden just recently dug
You said you didn't love me you told me we were through
So honey that's the reason this is what I'm gonna do
I'll eat a big ole tadpole run away and hide
And you'd be sorry oh so sorry if I stayed away and died
So if you really love me just tell me with a hug
Before I eat a tadpole or a bug
-- as sung by Sue Thompson, released in 1966
My guess is that Willie received many hugs after singing this song!
One way that Willie’s family members will know that he loved them dearly is by the songs that he would sing to them. The songs communicated: “you are special to me.”
Consider the words of another song that communicate the love of Christ for YOU and me:
Crucified, Laid behind the stone
You lived to die, Rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall, And thought of me,
-- From “Above All” by Michael W. Smith
The words of this song express how much Christ loves us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8. As Jesus was dying on the cross for our sins, He was thinking of YOU and me and how His blood can wash away our sins so that we can be saved and live eternally with Him in heaven.
God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
As the song states, Jesus took the fall, and thought of YOU, above all. Won’t YOU respond to His great love through your trusting obedience?
-- David A. Sargent
* In loving memory of Willie Woodrow Dowling, June 15, 1935 – December 1, 2017, in grateful appreciation for his faith and love.