Fanny J. Crosby’s Blindness

August 4, 2009

Fanny J. Crosby was one of the great hymnwriters of the 19th century.  We still sing many of her songs today.  Just look up her name in the author index of your hymnal and prepare to be impressed.

One of the interesting things about Mrs. Crosby is that she was blind.  If you’ve grown up around church, you probably knew that.  It’s one of those little facts that isn’t taught but you somehow manage to pick up anyway: “True fellowship involves food, passing notes during the sermon usually leads to trouble, and Fanny J. Crosby was blind.”

But here’s something you probably didn’t know, even if you’ve been to church all your life — how Mrs. Crosby became blind and what she thought of her blindness.  I came across the following quote when I was skimming her autobiography earlier this week.  I was astounded.  May God grant each of us to see our own limitations as clearly as this blind saint saw hers.

When I was six weeks of age a slight cold caused an inflammation of the eyes, which appeared to demand the attention of the family physician; but he not being at home, a stranger was called.  He recommended the use of hot poultices, which ultimately destroyed the sense of sight.  When this sad misfortune became known throughout our neighborhood, the unfortunate man thought it best to leave; and we never heard of him again.  But I have not for a moment, in more than eighty-five years, felt a spark of resentment against him because I have always believed from my youth to this very moment that the good Lord, in his infinite mercy, by this means consecrated me to the work that I am still permitted to do.

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One Response to “Fanny J. Crosby’s Blindness”

  1. Ramona Says:

    Praise Him! Praise Him! tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! ever in joyful song!


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