Christmas Stories: Day 13
Every day ’til Christmas, we’re sharing a story from your family at FN. Would you rather get them straight to your inbox? Click here and choose “Christmas Stories: (Daily Emails Dec 2015).”
One of my favorite things about the work I do is getting to see ideas come together.
In planning for this Christmas season, we knew we wanted to focus on the big story God has been telling since the beginning of time — and the story He is telling in each one of our lives.
We named the series and I met with our visual arts team to come up with a way to visually express this idea. As sometimes happens, our first meeting was a conversation with lots of ideas thrown out on the table – and nothing rising to the surface.
Later that week, we landed on the two hymns you see in the auditorium this season: Tell Me The Story of Jesus and the chorus of Blessed Assurance. The words in these two hymns seemed to capture the thoughts in this series. Tell Me The Story of Jesus begins with the angels announcing his birth and tells the story of Jesus and how his life, and death, and resurrection are our redemption. It is His Story in song.
And the chorus of Blessed Assurance is our story – This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long — because of the cross. My story is a part of His Story.
Both hymns were written by the same person, Fanny Crosby. She was the Chris Tomlin of the 1800’s, composing over 8,000 hymns during her lifetime! Many of them are songs we still sing today: Blessed Assurance, All the Way My Savior Leads Me, To God Be the Glory, Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior, Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross, I Am Thine, O Lord, and many more. What is amazing about her story is that she was blind. As a baby, she had an eye infection which a doctor incorrectly treated by placing hot poultices on her red and inflamed eyelids. The infection did clear up, but the result was that scars formed on the eyes, and the Fanny became blind for life.
About her blindness, Fanny said: “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”
If I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind…for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Savior.”
What a great story – it’s remarkable to me to be looking for a way to visually share that His Story is my story – and to find these two hymns and the story of the writer. Her story is HIS STORY of redemption, in the midst of her blindness.
This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.
Today’s story is by Donna Hall.
Donna is the Arts team leader at FN; she is responsible for service planning, worship, communication, & hospitality. She’s at her best behind the scenes, pulling strings together – helping all the different pieces weave into something beautiful. In other words, she knows a little about a lot of things and likes to help people & their stories shine.