“PASS ME NOT, O GENTLE SAVIOUR.” – The story behind this hymn
“A genuine American eccentric, Crosby was known as “the blind hymn writer,” “the Methodist Saint,” and “the Queen of Gospel Songs.”
Born in rural New York State on March 24th, 1820. Crosby was only six weeks old when she developed an eye infection. The doctor was out of town. A medical quack showed up instead. He put hot mustard poultices on the baby’s eyes, and blinded her for life.
Fanny’s Grandmother Eunice became her eyes, describing red-winged blackbirds and violets. She read aloud from the Bible so that Fanny could recite it, cover to cover. At the New York Institution for the Blind, first as a student, then as a teacher, Fanny Crosby established her reputation as a poet.
She dictated her first hymn lyrics in her mid-forties and then composed thousands more. America was experiencing a religious revival at the time. Fanny’s hymns were in great demand, but she never got rich. She took the teaching in Matthew 19:21 literally when Jesus said, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” She chose to live simply, unburdened by belongings.
One evening in 1868, Crosby was visiting a prison, walking down a long aisle between cells, reciting the Bible verses she knew by heart, when she heard a man call out, “Remember me! O Lord, please don’t pass me by.”
Later, thinking back on that plaintive cry, Crosby wrote the hymn lyrics, touching our universal fear of being excluded and forgotten.
It hurts to be singled out, shunned, or shamed. When it seems like the whole world is against us, we cry to our Saviour. He was once mocked and rejected. He knows our pain. Singing this hymn, again we cry, “Do not pass me by. Remember me! Remember me! Remember me!”
Crosby wrote the words to more than 8,000 hymns. Favourites include “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” “Rescue the Perishing,” “I Am Thine O Lord, “To God Be the Glory,” and “Blessed Assurance” (co-written with Phoebe Knap)” — By Pam McAllister.
To a great extent, the creation of this hymn assures you & me and anyone who would cry out to the Lord would certainly not be passed by Him. After all, He is the loving Son of God who gave His life to the world.
Here is a hymn that should be cherished in our hearts. It is written from a singer’s perspective, knowing there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, only Jesus’ grace can give us hope, strengthen our unbelief, comfort us and heal our hearts when they are broken.
Sing this hymn to yourself when times like these arise—sometimes it is hard to find words to pray, but you can repeat this hymn as words in your heart.
This hymn is so honest in that all we can do is pray for His help as we go through our lives especially, during this pandemic– it gives God all the glory.
Hope you are comforted by this powerful hymn of hope, comfort, and trust in Jesus.