As the evening progressed, the sunset over the nearby Winona Lake was so incredible, the faculty members began to talk about the unusual particulars of its beauty. The talk eventually died down and the group sat for a long time, silently soaking in the wonder.
Virgil's cousin Horace Burr, who had been blind from birth, suddenly spoke out with excitement, saying that he had never seen such a beautiful sunset. One of the other guests asked how it was possible for him to see events of the sky. Horace's reply was to have a lasting affect: I see through other people's eyes, and I think I often see more - I see beyond the sunset.
Back at home, Virgil was inspired to write a hymn based upon the events of the evening. His wife joined him from the piano. Horace was there also. When he heard the first three verses Horace reminded them of the storm clouds that had been hovering just above that evening's sunset, and suggested that be the theme of a fourth verse. Before the three climbed into their beds that night, Beyond the Sunset was ready for publication.
Beyond The Sunset
Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning.
When with our Saviour heaven's begun.
Earth's toiling ended, O glorious dawning
Beyond the sunset when day is done.
Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather.
No storms will threaten, no fears annoy.
O day of gladness, O day unending.
Beyond the sunset eternal joy.
Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me,
To God the Father whom I adore.
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
Will be my portion on that fair shore.
Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion,
With our dear loved ones who've gone before,
In that fair homeland we'll know no parting.
Beyond the sunset forever more.