A happy Thursday to you!
Do you have something in common with a historical figure? Did this person have extraordinary traits and talents similar to yours but far exceeded your own? Is there one special something that you share?
I do. There was this extraordinary woman who began life in 1820. My life hasn’t paralleled hers too much of which I am very thankful, but there are a few things we have in common. Let’s chat about her first.
She was exceptional. Incredible. Strong in mind and attitude. With God’s grace, and having a determined grandmother, she triumphed over a tremendous obstacle.
As you read, you may recognize who this woman was, but I’ll keep her anonymous for now. And the special something that we share at the end.
A month after she was born, a horrible situation occurred that rendered her sightless her whole life. The physician treated her infected eyes with a hot poultice which caused great harm to her corneas.
Another tragedy occurred later that year. Her father died a few days after suddenly falling very ill. Her 21-year-old mother became a widow. They were already living with family members, including her mother’s parents. Her mother, Mercy, found work as a maidservant to help support the family. Her grandmother, Eunice, took over the care of this little baby girl.
As this family were devout believers in Christ – Puritans – this young blind girl was diligently taught the scriptures and the importance of prayer. She was taught many things, including botany. At age 14, she went to the New York Institute for the Blind. Eunice did not want her granddaughter to become a poor, helpless blind girl dependent on others.
This amazing girl became famous for her writing and music abilities. She was a prolific writer of poetry and hymns and excelled as a musician playing the piano, organ, guitar, and harp! She wrote over one thousand secular poems and over nine-thousand hymns! Playing the guitar hindered her in learning Braille. It causes calluses on your fingertips which would render them insensitive to reading the Braille raised-dot patterns. I do know that because back in my early twenties I took up guitar for a short while. But I have never tried to learn Braille! 😊
In all of her 95 years, she lectured, gave organ and harp concerts, spoke at churches, and contributed greatly to the success of D.L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey’s evangelical campaigns because of her hymn writing skills.
Yes, this famous historical woman was Fanny Crosby!
You’re wondering what Fanny and I have in common now? If you know me personally, then you would know some of them already.
I cannot make myself out to be a glorious carbon copy of Fanny Crosby. Not in the least! The LORD allowed her to become blind. But she was not angry or bitter about it. She accepted it.
Me? I have a hard time accepting my own life’s circumstances – my mobility issues and pain with arthritis, to name only one. It’s a work-in-progress for me to rely on the LORD for strength and patience and not be resentful for what He allows to occur.
As a musician, I play the piano and organ and at one time, the guitar. And I have done a few organ concerts back at my home church in Massachusetts. I don’t play the harp, but it has always been my dream instrument! I have dabbled in poetry. I have three art prints with my poetry available for purchase (not in my Etsy shop) that are illustrated with birds. A “Two Turtle Doves” print, a “Mom” print, and a “Dad” print. If you are interested in them, let me know.
Even mathematics wasn’t a favorite subject of ours. And I have had issues with my eyes since way back. Nothing drastic nor do I want to make light of Fanny’s blindness. Having sight is precious! I can't believe how much she accomplished without her eyesight!
I’m near-sighted and wear contacts. Light sensitivity makes me wear sunglasses in cloudy weather. Adie’s Pupil in both eyes (the pupils don’t react to light very quickly). In the past two to three years, I can see flashes of light occasionally, which is supposed to go away at some point.
I can’t forget the other common ground which is the most important of all and far outshines my favorite one – our common saving faith in Christ – which means I will be able to meet her someday!
It's still amazing that Fanny Crosby didn’t mind being blind. But do you know what she saw and Who she saw when she entered heaven at the age of 95? Though she was able to see light and darkness and sometimes color hues, I’ll let you imagine how glorious it was for her when her eyesight was restored for the first time!
I’m very thankful I’m able to view God’s beautiful creation, drive a car, see friends and family, and sew bags and clothing with beautiful fabrics using my lovely vintage 221 Singer Featherweight machine. Eyesight is a blessing that we can’t take for granted.
But the one thing I love the most about what Fanny and I have in common is this:
We have the same birthday! TODAY!! March 24!! Have a great day everyone!