Hymn Story

Open My Eyes

Hymn lists

by book of Bible

Psalm 119:18 is a prayer for spiritual insight.  It asks God, “Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”  Reading that verse inspired Clara Scott to write the hymn “Open My Eyes.”  The opening verse of the hymn asks, “Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me.”

But Clara was not satisfied to pray for open eyes.  She also wrote, “Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear.”

And she was not satisfied to ask God to receive blessings.  She also prayed that God would make her a blessing by helping her to speak to others about what God had revealed to her.  She wrote, “Open my mouth, and let me bear gladly the warm truth everywhere.”

Clara understood, and helped countless others to understand, that it is more blessed to give than to receive —and that we, as Christians, are called to share the good news that we have received.

Clara wrote a number of other hymns, and even published a book entitled, Truth in Song for Lovers of Truth—but “Open My Eyes” is the hymn for which she is remembered today.

Clara published “Open My Eyes” in 1895.  Two years later, as she was riding in a carriage, her horse was spooked and began running crazily through the streets.  Clara was thrown from the carriage and killed.  Reflecting on that, one of her biographers commented that she never knew how popular her hymn, “Open My Eyes” had become.

But I believe that one of her heavenly blessings will be to know just how many people have been blessed by the hymn that she wrote so late in her life.

— Copyright 2007, Richard Niell Donovan