Monday, November 1, 2010

Do not pass me by

Son of David! hear my cry;
Saviour, do not pass me by;
Touch these eyelids veiled in night,
Turn their darkness into light.
Son of David, hear my cry!
Savior, do not pass me by.

Though the proud my voice would still,
They may chide me if they will,
Yet the more I’ll pray for grace,
Only here shall be my place.
Son of David, hear my cry!
Saviour, do not pass me by.

Though despised by all but Thee,
Thou a blessing hast for me;
Faith and prayer can never fail,
Lord, with Thee I must prevail,
Son of David, hear my cry!
Saviour, do not pass me by.

Glorious vision! heav’nly ray!
All my gloom has passed away;
Now my joyful eye doth see,
And my soul still clings to Thee,
Thine the glory evermore,
Mine to worship and adore.

-Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)

I came across this hymn last week as I was preparing for Sunday's message on the healing of blind Bartimeaus.

It is a really beautiful hymn, but it didn't really seem to flow with the direction that the sermon was headed so I had to leave it on the cutting room floor. I did want to post it here on this blog however, because it really does deserve to be read and appreciated.

What makes these words particularly poignant to me is knowing a bit of the background of the author. At six weeks old her parents took her to a doctor to treat an eye inflammation; a misdiagnosis and wrong prescription of mustard plasters caused her to go blind. She spent the whole of her life without sight. She surely prayed many times that the Lord would restore her sight, but He chose not to. Rather than grow embittered against Him, Fanny accepted this as from His hand, and grew in her love and trust of Him. She was one of the most prolific hymn writers of all time, giving the church over 8,000 songs!

I imagine her writing this song, about a man who cries out to Jesus asking for sight, and perhaps it would have been a challenge for her; to praise God for healing the blindness of some while not yet relieving her of her disability. But I believe Fanny understood that the eyes of her heart (Ephesians 1:18) have been opened by Christ, and that is a miracle worth praising Him forever for. I know that now, in Heaven, Fanny Crosby has perfect vision. Her sight on earth would have been so very dim, but now she sees Jesus face to face (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12)

Now my joyful eye doth see,
And my soul still clings to Thee