Whose face do you want to see first when you get to Heaven?
Each and every heart-wrenching goodbye in this life creates in me a deeper yearning for my true home in Glory. As I ache for those I long to see most when my time comes, I can't help pondering the words of Fanny Crosby, a blind and prolific poet who authored some of the the most popular hymns of our day: "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. When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior".
Her words make me cry. How could a woman blind from infancy write so beautifully about "visions of rapture" bursting on her sight ("Blessed Assurance")? What made her long to see the face of Jesus before she'd ever seen a face at all?
To be thankful for a handicap because it prevents distraction ... what a unique perspective.
To consider the fact that out of a godly woman's blindness came such timeless hymns of praise ... hymns like "Near the Cross" ... "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" ... "Tell Me the Story of Jesus" ... "Pass Me Not" ... "Rescue the Perishing" ... "I Am Thine, O Lord" ... "He Hideth My Soul" ... "Praise Him" (just to name a few) ...
... it all causes me to wonder just how far God might take me in the midst of life's hardships if I allow myself to be used.
I also wonder ... how did I sing these hymns my whole life and still not notice their messages? But today the words are precious to me. I marvel at the depth and the anointing. I marvel that the lines written so long ago still endure ... truly some of the sweetest words on earth. Words that express a longing to see Jesus.
Of all the faces I've been blessed to see in this life--even the ones I see now only in photographs and memories--the Face I long to see most is the face of Jesus.
I thank God for my sight, but may I never be so distracted with what I see in the world around me that I forget to focus on Him. May I live my life each day as though tomorrow is the day I'll meet Him face to face.