This is my latest offertory. The lyrics are by Fanny Crosby, one of her approximately 8,000 hymns. Can you believe that? Granted, she only wrote the verses, not the melodies, but still. That is one prolific lady. She is quoted as saying, “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.”
I have never done a hymn rewrite before. In fact, this week my initial feeling was that it was a cop-out. I had no idea what to write, and the song list was due at noon on Wednesday. So Wednesday morning I decided to read through some of Fanny’s hymns, because I find them (and her) very inspiring. I had never read these lyrics before, and when I read them, I picked up the guitar and immediately began singing them to the tune you hear in the recording. No false starts, no major changes…it just came out the way it is from the get-go. I figured that if it was what I needed to hear, maybe other people needed to hear it too, and there was the offertory. I still think I cheated, because it was so easy, but the song was a real encouragement to me this past week.
It was especially meaningful because in some way, I felt connected to Fanny Crosby while I was singing it. Wondering what she had been feeling that prompted her to write it, over a hundred years ago, wondering if the whole “great cloud of witnesses” thing is for real, and maybe she could hear me play its new melody, and know that her work is still relevant and affecting people today. It’s so simply and beautifully written. I love it.
Hope you like it!
P.S. I am changing the restrictions on the songs so that you can download them. Hopefully that works…having trouble telling if it’s actually changed or not. Let me know!