The Fanny Crosby phenomenon

Fanny Crosby is considered the most famous female hymn writer.

And her blindness didn’t stop her from writing more than 9,000 hymns that are still beloved in churches around the world.

Fanny’s grandmother did everything in her power to compensate her granddaughter for the loss of her sight
In May 1820, a girl was born to a terribly poor family – Frances Jane Crosby, who soon became known to America and later the whole world.

Since Franny’s mother had lost her husband at an early age, she worked from morning to night and her grandmother took care of the children.

At the age of six, Fanny became seriously ill. She got an eye infection. And as a result of improper treatment, she lost her sight. The girl’s family did not give up. Fanny’s mother explained to her daughter that sometimes God takes away a gift in order to give an even better one in return. She told the little girl about other blind people who had become successful and famous. And Fanny’s grandmother decided to do everything in her power to compensate her granddaughter for the loss of sight.

She spent every free moment with Fanny. She took the girl in her arms and told her about the sun. She explained what the sun looks like in the morning, afternoon and evening before sunset. She told Fanny about the beautiful fluffy clouds in the sky and described to her how they were constantly changing their shape and color. Then she spoke of the moon and the stars that shone in the dark night sky.

Once after a storm, grandma took Fanny to the top of the hill. There she explained to the child what a rainbow looks like. She talked about the seven colors and why God sent the first rainbow to earth.

Grandma taught Fanny about birds and how to distinguish their voices. Together they walked in the woods and listened to birdsong. Then they spent a lot of time together studying flowers. Soon Fanny could tell what flower she was holding as soon as she touched it or smelled it. She loved flowers very much.

Grandma encouraged Fanny to play with other children. Soon the girl was able to participate in almost everything, in which even healthy children. She climbed trees and even rode a horse.

Fanny’s grandmother was a Christian and constantly told stories from the Bible to her granddaughter. Since Fanny could not read herself, her grandmother read the Bible aloud to her and Fanny memorized the texts. She knew many chapters of the Old Testament, psalms, parables, and the entire book of Ruth by heart.

As a result, Fanny later said, “All that I am and will ever be, I owe to the Bible.”

Fanny began to write poetry … in her head

At the age of 8, Fanny began to write poetry. She composed entire poems and hymns in her mind and dictated them. She once worked on 12 songs simultaneously (in her mind!) and then dictated them all in sequence. Another time she wrote 7 hymns in one day! Fanny Crosby wrote over 9,000 Christian hymns during her lifetime. For a long time in her life, she wrote three songs a week. Sometimes the publishers did not want to include so many songs of one author in the song collection, and then her texts began to be used under different pseudonyms.

Fanny had over a hundred aliases.

She spoke about herblindness: “It pleased the provident God that I should be blind all my life and I thank Him for it. If I were offered great eyesight tomorrow, I wouldn’t take it. If I were distracted by the beautiful and interesting things around me, I would not sing praises to God. ”

When Fanny was 15 years old, she had the opportunity to go to New York to study at a special educational institution for the blind. Heres he was destined to spend 23 years, first as a student and later as a teacher.

The teachers saw the girl’s talent and tried to encourage her at every opportunity.

During the years when Fanny studied there, the director of the Institute for the Blind was a young man named Grover Cleveland. He began to help Fanny write down all her poems. Years later, Grover Cleveland became the President of America!

Once she was even invited to read her poems in front of the US Congress in Washington. After listening to them, many senior officials wiped tears.

Fanny drew inspiration from everything

Once Fanny was told a story about a woman who found herself in the middle of a crowd on the street, holding a child in her arms. They were pushed from all sides, the child was crying loudly. And it seemed that the child was being torn apart. The mother gathered her last strength to save the child and lifted the child above the crowd and saved the child. From this story, the poet published the verse “In the arms of Jesus”, which became a famous song.

Fanny Crosby visited the prison where she spoke to the prisoners about God’s love. Her story made a big impression on the audience. They wanted to pray together at Fanny’s. In prayer, one of the prisoners asked Jesus not to pass him by, but to save him. This sincere request touched the poetess in the depths of her heart. She put these words in her famous hymn “Don’t Pass Me By”.

Once, Fanny Crosby visited her friend Mrs. Noup, the wife of a director of a large insurance agency, who in her lifetime had written about 500 melodies for Christian hymns. She played one of her own songs to Fanny and asked how it made her feel.

the poetess immediately answered: “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!”

This is how one of the most famous Christian hymns was born, which is sung in many countries around the world, “Blessed assurance”.

Fanny was always busy

When she was not writing, she collaborated with Christian missions and helped people. She reached asylums, prisons, where she told the needy about Jesus and prayed with them.

The once sick and unknown girl became a strong woman who influenced whole generations!

At the age of 38, Fanny married Alexander van Alstine. They met at the institute, and the man was also blind. They lived happily together for 44 years.

Due to her great love for children, Fanny Crosby soon earned the nickname “Aunt Fanny”. All the children in the district ran to her!

On the eve of her 90th birthday, she was talking to a group of friends. When asked what is the secret of her longevity, she replied that she always guards three things: her character, her taste and her language.

On February 11, 1915, Fanny Crosby went to be with the Lord. Long before her funeral began, the church was full of people! There were priests, songwriters, politicians, statesmen, boys and girls—all Fanny’s friends.

Fanny Crosby lived to be 95 years old.


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