Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Beautiful (11/07/05)
TITLE: My Day with Aunt Fanny (Historical fiction)
By Benjamin Stephens
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I am ninety-five years old today and I was not always an old woman sitting alone by the fire. There was a time when I was a rather unpleasant child, an unyielding confirmation that all children accumulate enough pride and arrogance to shame their elders. To my discredit I was familiar with the skill and became quite good in the exercise thereof.
While I have no personal recollection of the events leading to my blindness, I do know that a doctor of ill repute was to blame for my nearly lifelong blanket of darkness. I bear him no grudge. Perhaps his blunder was used by God to make me into something I was incapable of being otherwise.
Do not make me seem something I was not, I meant what I said. Good!
My grandmother did most of my formal raising. I do not recall being afraid of anything. I would take part in activities that really required two good eyes - I possessed neither and am certain to have a few scars to prove my lack.
I did not want to learn Braille, so I exercised my brain by memorizing long passages of Scripture and prose. In many ways I was a star pupil save for my own predilection to chicanery. Simply put, I was a handful both inside and outside the classroom.
All is well? Good!
My poetry was the first thing to gain a bit of notoriety. I was often commissioned to write a poem for some dignitary or group. I once recited a poem for the President.
God apparently saw something inside me that I could not see - no matter the eyes that stood vacant and unknowing.
God gave me the heart of a poet, but He also gave me a love for music. That is the real reason I did not like Braille. My fingers were too coarse from playing the guitar to notice the Braille writing.
Through my love of words and music I began to write songs. Once I started writing I found it difficult to stop. I wrote the songs as much for me as anyone. It could be argued that these little songs are simply a journal in my Christian faith.
It seems that when I stopped paying attention to such things, the beauty of a face I have yet to fully behold came into view and I could do no less than write about such glorious wonder and awe. The greatest solace I have found in life is doing the hard work of concentrating on the beauty of God. When all else failed me or those I loved best departed for a better country, the beauty of God has been the only thing that gave me the courage to walk on.
These eyes failed me early and they are no use to me today, yet there is coming a day when I shall gaze on that beautiful face with eyes that will catch every hue and color and I shall be undone in the scorching gaze of His love. I long for the day.
Yes, those are tears. Be a dear, would you? Place another piece of wood on the fire? Good!
I am afraid my fingers no longer work like they once did, but if you will indulge the crooning of an old woman, I would sing for you.
Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste
Of glory divine
Heir of salvation
Purchase of God
Born of His spirit
Washed in His blood
This is my story
This is my song
Praising my Savior
All the day long.
You see, when this life is over I have such beauty waiting for me. Each morning when I rise and I know that today is a day to praise the God who makes eyes - yet somehow lets me see.
What? Oh, yes, I am tired. Perhaps we’ll talk again another day. Good!
Note: Fanny Crosby died on February 12, 1915, at the age of 95, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She was a prolific writer, penning more than 3,000 hymns and poems. Her funeral was attended by more people than her friend P.T. Barnum. Her original burial market was inscribed simply, “She hath done what she could.”
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