“Open My Eyes, That I May See" by Clara H. Scottby Dr. Zelda Robinson on April 4, 2022
Reading James Howell’s book, “Unrevealed Until Its Season,” reminded me of many of the great hymns I learned growing up in church. I was born and raised in a Methodist church and spent most of my life there. Many of the hymns Mr. Howell refers to I recall singing, so I had forgotten about. Then there are those he does not mention, but something he says reminds me of a hymn not listed in his book. “Open My Eyes, That I May See,” is one of them.
In the section of the book called, “Thy Presence My Light,” Mr. Howell refers to “hymns of vision.” He reminds us that the Lenten season is about focus, “a time for putting on corrective lenses of the gospel.” The Christian journey is one of faith, not in what we see with our human eyes, but that which we ‘see’ in faith. Apostle Paul tells us, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Paul understood what it was to be “blinded” to the truth of the gospel and then put on spiritual “corrective lenses.” His eyes were opened during his travel on the Damascus Road. Our faith in Christ opens our spiritual eyes, enabling us to ‘see’ the truth of who God is and what Christ has and continues to do for us. All that we do in Christ is based on our belief in Him, to direct us.
Clara H. Scott, a Midwesterner, was born in Illinois. She attended the first Music Institute held by C.M. Cady in Chicago, Ill. By 1859, she was teaching music at the Ladies' Seminary, Lyons, Iowa. Scott was married to Henry Clay Scott. In 1882 she published the Royal Anthem Book. It was the first volume of choir anthems published by a woman.
Clara Scott was encouraged by Horatio R. Palmer, an influential church musician in Chicago and New York City. He assisted her in publishing many of her songs. Unfortunately, she died in a buggy accident in 1897 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Just before her death, Scott wrote the words to this hymn:
Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
place in my hand the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.
The text reminds us of the power of the "Spirit divine." He empowers us to receive and project truth and love. The hymn ask that He opens our eyes so we may see, "glimpses of truth." To open our ears so we can hear, "voices of truth." That He opens our mouths so we can share, the "warm truth everywhere." Psalm 51:15 exhorts us: "O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise." Then that He open our heart to share "love to thy children." Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8).
Silently now I wait for thee, ready my God, thy will to see.
Open my eyes, ears, and heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!
Ask the “Spirit Divine” to make your vision clear, so you will be able to see, hear and speak the truth from your heart.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Luke 7:22