THE BLIND GIRL — by Fanny Crosby

Her home was near an ancient wood,
Where many an oak gigantic stood,
And fragrant flowers of every hue
In that sequestered valley grew—

A church there reared its little spire;
And in their neat and plain attire.
The humble peasants would repair
On Sabbath morn, to worship there;

And on the laughing breeze would float
The merry warbler’s choral note,
When at Aurora’s rosy dawn.
She decked with light the dewy lawn.

A pearly stream meander’d there;
And on its verdant banks so fair,
From school released, at close of day,
A group of happy girls would play.

With their gay laugh the woodlands rang;
Or if some rustic air they sang,
Those rural notes, of music sweet.
Echo, would in mock tones repeat.

Amid those scenes of mirth and glee.
That sightless girl, oh where was she?
Was she, too, blithely sporting there,
Or wreathing garlands for her hair?

She sat beside her cottage door;
Her brow a pensive sadness wore;
And while she listened to the song
That issued from that youthful throng;

The tears, warm gushing on her cheek,
Told what no language e’er could speak;
While their young hearts were light and gay.
Her hours passed heavily away—

A mental night was o’er her thrown;
She sat dejected, and alone.
Yet, no; a mother’s accents dear,
Came softly on that blind girl’s ear.

While all were locked in dreamy sleep,
That mother, o’er her couch would weep.
And as she knelt in silence there.
Would breathe to God her fervent prayer;

“That He, all merciful and mild.
Would bless her sightless—only child.”

‘Twas eve—the summer’s sky was bright.
The crescent moon unveiled her light
And many a mild and radiant star
Its lustre spread o’er climes afar.

That mother, to her throbbing breast
Her lovely daughter fondly pressed.
She on her bosom leaned her head,
And thus in mournful accents said:

“Tell me, dear mother, what is sight?
I hear you say the stars are bright
In yonder sky of azure hue;
I wish I could behold them, too:

You tell me of the summer flowers,
That blossom in the green wood bowers.
Their balmy breath is sweet to me.
And shall I ne’er their beauty see?”

There Anna paused—her mother sighed,
Then in a low, sweet voice, replied:

“On earth these joys may ne’er be thine.
But why, my child, why thus repine?
‘Tis thy Almighty Father’s will.
He bids thy murmuring heart be still;
There is a fairer world than this—
A world of never-fading bliss.
There let thy heart—thy treasure be.
And thou its purer joys shalt see.”

The summer and the autumn passed.
And wildly blew the winter blast;
‘Twas midnight, nature slept profound.
Unbroken stillness reigned around—

Save in one little cottage,
Where was heard a dying mother’s prayer.

“Oh God, my helpless orphan see,
She hath no other friend but Thee;
She frendless on the world is thrown
Sightless—heart-broken—and alone—
Father all merciful and mild—
Oh God ! protect my orphan child”

One last farewell that mother breathed—
One parting sigh her bosom heaved,
And all was over—she had fled
To mingle with the silent dead.

The dreary winter passed away,
The spring returned and all was gay;
O’er hill and vale, and verdant plain,
The warbling choir was heard again.

Yet spring or nature’s cheerful voice,
Made not that orphan’s heart rejoice;
Her mother’s grave was near her cot.
And Anna, to that lonely spot
Led by some friendly hand, would stray,
To kiss the turf that wrapt her clay.

‘Twas evening’s melancholy hour.
And zephyrs fanned each sleeping flower;
O’er her soft lute her fingers ran,
And thus her mournful lay began:

“Alas! how bitter is my lot,
Without a friend—without a home—
Alone—unpitied and forgot—
A sightless orphan, now I roam.
Where is that gentle mother now,
Who once so fondly o’er me smiled,
Who gently kissed my burning brow.
And to her bosom clasped her child?
I could not see that angel eye.
Suffused with many a bitter tear.
But oh! her deep, heart-rending sigh.
Stole mournful on my listening ear.
I knelt beside her dying bed,
I felt her last expiring breath,
God bless my child, she faintly said,
And closed those lovely eyes in death.
Oh! how I long to soar away.
Where that departed one doth dwells
To join with her the choral lay.
Angelic choirs forever swell!”

She ceased—she heard a footstep near,
A voice broke gently on her ear:
”Maiden, I’ve heard thy tale of woe.
And more of thee I fain would know;
Oh tell me why thy youthful brow
Is mantled o’er with sadness now?”

“Sir,” she replied, ” well may I weep;
Beneath this little mound, doth sleep
All that on earth to me was dear;
My mother’s lifeless form lies here;
And I, her only child, am left
Of kindred, and of home bereft;
But He who marks the sparrow’s fall,
Will hear the helpless orphan’s call.
My mother left me in His care,
He will not leave me to despair.”

The stranger sighed; “Maiden,” said he,
“Thou hast my warmest sympathy;
No longer friendless shalt thou roam,
I’ll take thee to a happier home;
A home erected for the Blind—
Where friends, affectionate and kind,
Will o’er thee watch with tender care.
And wipe away the orphan’s tear.”

“Forgive me, sir!” the maiden said,
As modestly she bent her head;
“I cannot bear to leave this grave,
Where these pale flowers so sadly wave.
And oh! while here I sit alone.
And listen to the wind’s low moan,
Methinks my sainted mother dear
Smiles on me from her starry sphere,
And softly then she seems to say,
“My child, my darling, come away
To the bright mansion where I dwell
And bid that world of care farewell.”

The stranger wept; his generous heart
In other’s sorrows shared a part.
“Thou must not linger here,” said he,
“Haste, I entreat thee, haste with me.
Thou lone one, to that dear retreat,
Where thou a sister band shalt meet;
Yes, maiden, they are blind, like thee,
And they will love thee tenderly.”

How changed ! that sightless orphan brow;
Her buoyant step is light and free.
And none more happy is than she:
For Educations glorious light
Hath chased away her mental night.
Contentment smiles upon her face,
And with delight, her fingers trace
The Page,” by inspiration given,

“To guide her to a brighter heaven.
If o’er the past her memory stray.
Then music’s sweet and charming lay,
Drives each dark vision from her breast.
And lulls each heaving sigh to rest.
Her grateful lips breathe many a prayer
For him who kindly placed her there.

[The foregoing was suggested by an incident which occurred while visiting the interior of the State of New York, with a view of satisfying the public mind of the advantages to be derived from placing the blind at the Institution, and was inscribed to H. M., one of the managers, who accompanied the party…]

Encountering Jesus — As a blind man from birth

People who have studied long and in depth the “things” of/about God can find themselves blindsided by the simplicity of one who has PERSONALLY encountered God. There really is no substitute for knowing God for YOURSELF. Ask the question: “Who is HE that I may believe into HIM?” Ask and God will come looking, searching, scanning for you — heuristics — and NOTHING can prevent or obstruct God from finding you, even if you are obstructed. God is never obstructed by anything, though from our limited mortal perspective we may think He is hindered or unable. He certainly can find you when it is His time to do so. This is the way you believe and trust in God. Believe and trust that He can do what you could never do. And then He will prove Himself to you. Over and over again, He will prove Himself to you. Will, at times when you are weak and unable, find you and cause you to encounter His Presence and hear Him. And, if your heart is tender for it, you will hear Him and be taught by Him.

They answered him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?” They threw him out.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding — heuristics — him, he said, “Do you believe into the Son of God?”

He answered, “Who is he, Lord, that I may believe into him?”

Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he who speaks with you.”

He said, “Lord, I believe!” and he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”

— John 9:34-39

Two Hours

Two Hours

I never got to know your names
I never got to celebrate your birthdays
I never got to join you at the dinner table
to give thanks for good and perfect gifts from above

But I felt your loving arms around me,
I felt tender voices surround me
I heard your quickened heartbeats as you drew me close to you
You would have kept me but I was only passing through
And though I only had two hours on this earth
I lived a lifetime of love with you

Loving faces greeted me from the moment of my birth
Gentle arms passed me ’round in my two hours on this earth
Though there was nothing you could do,
you fought with me through every breath,
and you held me to my very end,
loving me from birth to death

Though you were very sad to see me go
I hope somehow you will always know
That I could not have been more wanted or loved
From the day my heart started beating
to the day I slipped away

There were tears, there were smiles,
there were curious looks to see
who it is I take after in the family
And though there was no way that I could say it
I felt your love all over me
It was the best two hours on earth
to be part of this loving family

And now I will wait patiently for you here,
in a better place than earth,
in the everlasting loving arms,
of God Who loved me first

Go to Jesus when He calls you!

When Jesus calls us to Himself, as those who have ears hear His voice, we must go, go, go!  Daily and forever go to, and return to, Him Who is Owner and Decider of all…Lord of all!

Spurgeon exhorts us below…

“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.” – Mark 3:13.

HERE was sovereignty. Impatient spirits may fret and fume, because they are not called to the highest places in the ministry; but reader be it thine to rejoice that Jesus calleth whom He wills. If He shall leave me to be a doorkeeper in His house, I will cheerfully bless Him for His grace in permitting me to do anything in His service. The call of Christ’s servants comes from above. Jesus stands on the mountain, evermore above the world in holiness, earnestness, love and power. Those whom He calls must go up the mountain to Him, they must seek to rise to His level by living in constant communion with Him. They may not be able to mount to classic honours, or attain scholastic eminence, but they must like Moses go up into the mount of God and have familiar intercourse with the unseen God, or they will never be fitted to proclaim the gospel of peace. Jesus went apart to hold high fellowship with the Father, and we must enter into the same divine companionship if we would bless our fellowmen. No wonder that the apostles were clothed with power when they came down fresh from the mountain where Jesus was. This morning we must endeavour to ascend the mount of communion, that there we may be ordained to the lifework for which we are set apart. Let us not see the face of man to-day till we have seen Jesus. Time spent with Him is laid out at blessed interest. We too shall cast out devils and work wonders if we go down into the world girded with that divine energy which Christ alone can give. It is of no use going to the Lord’s battle till we are armed with heavenly weapons. We must see Jesus, this is essential. At the mercy-seat we will linger till He shall manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world, and until we can truthfully say, “We were with Him in the Holy Mount.”

–Spurgeon

Then is Athanasius against the whole world!

From the book “God’s Pursiut of Man” by A. W. Tozer:

“The way it [the reversal of our nature] works in experience is something like this:  The believing man is overwhelmed suddenly by a powerful feeling that only God matters; soon this works itself out into his mental life and conditions all his judgements and all his values.  Now he finds himself free from slavery to man’s opinions.  Soon he learns to love above all else the assurance that he is well pleasing to the Father in heaven.

It is this complete switch in their pleasure source that has made believing men invincible.  So could saints and martyrs stand alone, deserted by every earthly friend, and die for Christ under the universal displeasure of mankind.  When, to intimidate him, Athanasius’ judges warned him that the whole world was against him, he dared to reply, ‘Then is Athanasius against the whole world!’  That cry has come down the years and today may remind us that the gospel has power to deliver men from the tyranny of social approval and make them free to do the will of God.”

“At my first defense, no one came to help me, but all left me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
— 2 Timothy 4:16-18

“Therefore, put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.”
–Ephesians 6:13

“let God be found true, but every man a liar. As it is written, ‘That you might be justified in your words, And might prevail when you come into judgment.'”
–Romans 3:4

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.  From infancy, you have known the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. Every writing inspired by God{literally, God-breathed} is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
— 2 Timothy 3:12-17

“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. Turn away from these, also.”
–2 Timothy 3:1, 2-5