Healing, Wholeness, and Hope

There is a hymn that makes an impassioned plea to Jesus. The first verse of the hymn goes: "Pass me not O gentle Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by." The refrain goes on to say, "Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by."

It is both a desperate plea for help and a statement of real faith in Christ. Fanny Crosby, (March 24, 1820 — February 12, 1915) was the 19th century hymn writer who was blind from infancy, and who became one of the greatest hymn writers of her day, is the author of this great hymn and the story behind it reportedly goes like this — "Ms. Crosby was blind from birth but one night she had a dream. She dreamed that the Lord Jesus was walking among the people in her church and touching each of those who would go to Heaven with Him. As he got closer, she started to fervently pray that He wouldn't pass her by. When she awoke, she penned the words to this lovely song and was able to describe in detail the people in her church even though she had never seen them. That was the only dream she had where she could see." (Christine Dunn, Angelfire.com)

Now, this is a story that I cannot substantiate but it is listed as how Fanny Crosby came to write that hymn. I have often wondered how someone who suffered such a difficult life due to blindness in the early 1800s, along with being a woman in a fiercely patriarchal society coped. Fanny also lost her first and only child as a weeks-old infant, and from that time on, was denied the affection of her husband because of that unfortunate event. Not many people have known as much hardship as Fanny Crosby and endured the amount of suffering she did in her life and then were able to write a hymn of such deep faith.

Fanny Crosby wrote some of the most familiar and beloved hymns in Protestant Christendom such as "Blessed Assurance," "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior," "Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home," "Praise Him, Praise Him," "Rescue the Perishing," and "To God Be the Glory." I invite you to read her life's story, she was a very gifted and spiritually strong woman, but Fanny Crosby was very much a broken woman in many ways too. But she was made whole by her faith and it showed through the healing words and music of the hymns that she wrote.

Like Fanny Crosby there is another story of two people broken by the circumstances of their life, but who were made whole by their faith in Christ. Their stories are left for us to prayerfully consider through the Bible passage in the gospel of Mark 5:21-43, where it tells of Jesus as he went about caring for these precious people who, like Fanny Crosby, were outcasts in their community and who suffered greatly because of their unfavorable or lower status. Please read how Jesus related to them and how they were brought to a place of healing, wholeness, and hope! Amen.

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