Frances Jane Crosby, known to the world as Fanny Crosby, was born on March 24, 1820. Fanny was blinded when only a few weeks old, yet despite this tragedy, fanny harbored no ill will. Fanny had a remarkable childhood and developed a reputation as a budding poet, being asked often to share her poetry in public.
Yet Fanny sensed something was missing, and her eternal destiny troubled her. This changed when she trusted Jesus at a revival service. As she grew in faith, so too did the theological richness of Fanny's poems. Many were set as hymns, and in these texts one can see in stunning detail the clarity of vision this woman possessed in spite of her disability.
IN "To God Be the Glory," Fanny paints a beautiful picture of the redemptive work of Christ. The incarnation, the blood of Christ shed to atone for man's sins, the vile offender receiving pardon - all these call for unending praise for God. Perhaps unnoticed by those unaware of the author's disability is the third verse which anticipates "Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see."
The hymn "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" demonstrates Fanny's daily dependence on the Lord. Rich with biblical imagery, she writes of the peace she has because her needs are met by Jesus who "doeth all things well." It is no wonder that his woman, accustomed to others leading her through unfamiliar territory, perceived the Lord's guiding hand upon her life.
In perhaps her most famous hymn, "Blessed Assurance," Fanny captures the joy of knowing Jesus and being found in him. This results in a life filled with praise for her Savior. As she watches and waits for Christ's appearance, she is filled with his goodness and love, which spills out as a testimony or "story" and "song" to others.
Though Fanny's physical eyes denied her the realities of the natural world, she displayed a keen view of the eternal realm. A woman marked by faith, Fanny Crosby stands as an inspiration to all who seek to follow Jesus. May our lives echo her sentiment "Take the World But Give Me Jesus."
Learn more about this incredible woman of the faith in Fanny J. Crosby: An Autobiography.