Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday, but I needed a music break tonight. So without further ado …
We have a gospel tract to thank for one of the most familiar choruses of the last century in Christian music.
Helen H. Lemmel read a gospel tract, called Focused, that contained a phrase she simply could not shake. “So then, turn your eyes upon Him, look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”
Helen later remembered writing the hymn:
Suddenly, as if commanded to stop and listen, I stood still, and singing in my soul and spirit was the chorus, with not one conscious moment of putting word to word to make rhyme, or note to note to make melody. The verses were written the same week, after the usual manner of composition, but none the less dictated by the Holy Spirit.
The hymn first appeared in print in 1918, and since then the chorus has perhaps become more well known than the verses.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
This is the 22nd post in my Write 31 Days series for 2017 in which I am taking a devotional look at key women in Christian history. For more information, or to start the series from the beginning, visit the introductory post.