Fanny Crosby

Inspired

26 Jan

Folks Have Remarkable Memories For The Things That Interest Them

When Ed called yesterday, I wanted to tell him about the power of a good memory. “I used to have a good memory,” I told Ed. I also said that my remembering has dulled over time. I warned Ed, that as a senior citizen memories have a way of shrinking. Ed, offered that he understood that a bad memory was the key to happiness.

I shared with Ed, about Fanny Crosby and her power to remember. At six weeks old in 1820, she caught a cold and inflammation of her eyes. This condition resulted in her permanent blindness. Fanny was brought up earnestly by her mother and grandmother in the Christian faith, as her father had died when she was six months old. At the age of ten, Fanny memorized five chapters of the Bible each week. By age 15, she had memorized the four gospels, the first five books of the Bible, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many Psalms.

Just before Crosby’s fifteenth birthday, she enrolled at the New York Institution for the Blind. In ten years she went from student to graduate pupil and teacher. In those ten years, she learned to play the piano, organ, harp, and guitar and became an excellent soprano singer. Her powerful memory was an instrumental part of her success in life as a blind person. She went on to become a mission worker for the poor, poet, lyricist, and composer. She wrote more than 8.000 hymns and gospel songs. She lived in simplicity giving any extra money that came to her to missions for the poor. She is remembered in her famous hymns.

“Most of us won’t be remembered long after death,” Ed observed. “Only a few are remembered,” he said. Then Ed asked if I remembered that in 2017, Gordie Howe, was named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players.” Ed can recite many facts about, “Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe. Ed asked if I could remember what the namesake, ‘The Gordie Howe Hat Trick,’ means? I didn’t know, but Ed informed me that it is a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game.”  My old neighbor said that some remember hymn writers and their hymns. More people recognize hockey players and their impressive careers.

As we move towards the church season of Lent, Christians are asked to realize that they may be blind, or spiritually impaired, or forgetful of how Jesus sacrificed himself to redeem us from our sins. Remembering is at its best when it is full of enthusiasm, and when what is remembered is considered remarkable and inspiring to the one who remembers it for themselves and others.

Fanny Crosby wrote hymns that were expressions of God’s love for herself and others. They reflected her longing and that of others for a deep relationship with God. She desired to give God the glory for Jesus’ atonement for sin. In her hymns: Blessed Assurance, To God Be the Glory, and Praise Him, Praise Him; she encourages that we praise Jesus, our blessed Redeemer. She also claims a blessed personal assurance that Jesus is hers! She is an heir of salvation, as she has been purchased by God to praise him all, the day long.

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