A Sunday Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Words/Music by Helen H. Lemmel

O soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
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!

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.

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.

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.

I dearly love this Sunday song. I couldn’t find a version I really liked on You Tube. I tried posting a couple of other songs I had in my queue, but my heart was set on this old hymn.

Helen Lemmel was born in England in 1863. She moved to the States as a little girl but returned to Germany to study music. While there, she married a wealthy European, who left her 10 years later because she developed a “malady”.

Helen died 2 weeks shy of her 98th birthday, living on public assistance in Seattle. Although nearly destitute, this much-loved woman was known in her church and her neighborhood as “a women full of joy and enthusiasm”. Her consistent answer to questions about her well-being was: “I’m doing well in the things that count.”

Helen wrote over 500 hymns. She wrote Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus at age 55, 20+ years after her husband left her because she had gone blind.

I think about this hymn often when I’m too blind to see. It always reminds me that I’m doing well in the things that count.


Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

14 thoughts on “A Sunday Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

  1. I’ve always loved the “refrain” of this old hymn. “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim…” That is so what I need to happen.

    1. Jen – Helen Lemmel wrote over 500 hymns. Fanny Crosby, blind at age 6, wrote over 8000. It seems clear here that those who see most clearly are those who know were to look.
      By the way,
      I love going to church with you and Mel! πŸ˜€
      ~ Debbie

  2. One of my favorites. I never knew the story, either. What a marvelous testimony she left. I think my all-time favorite is He Died For Me. It was in a hymnal at church when I was in high school — in the mid 70’s — but hasn’t been in one since.

    1. Drusilla –

      “Oh, can it be, upon a tree
      The Savior died for me?
      My soul is thrilled,
      My heart is filled,
      To think He died for me!”

      Is this the one?
      ~ Debbie

      1. That’s the one! I used to have it written in the front of my notebook for school, so it was always there when I opened the book. I’ve tried finding it on You-tube, but can only find someone playing it on the organ — no one singing. I have the page copied from that old hymnal because we used it as a bulletin insert when I talked my Uncle (the pastor) into singing it on Resurrection Sunday a couple times; and I used it for the ‘H’ (hymns) page in the scrapbook that I did of “My Favorite Things A-Z”. I’ll have to post those pages sometime.

    1. Jeanne – My head works a lot like a scratched record. I get a song in it and it sticks in the grove. This hymn gets stuck so often – and I have no doubt, for good reason.
      ~ Debbie

  3. My favorite version of this is just the chorus sung by Third Day. It’s actually added to a medley they do on their Offerings album, I think it is. Of course it’s been part of my church music history too πŸ˜‰ I never knew the story either and it just endears me to it more. For a while, we had a man at the Center with a beautiful voice and I got him to sing this chorus (It’s all I ever remember singing). I miss that but the words go through my mind and it’s just as beautiful. Lovely start to my day. I’ll carry this with me to our service.

    1. Debby – My favorite version was when my son and his best friend sang it at my daughter’s wedding. Didn’t make You Tube, but has stayed forever in my heart!
      ~ Debbie

  4. Beautiful story. A woman with an extraordinary soul; great faith through all her troubles. Love it. Oh and what a s*** (it’s sunday) of a man for leaving a woman for going blind.

    Seattle rocks too, btw.

    Thanks for sharing … i’ve just been to church, a mini-service. πŸ˜‰


    1. Good morning, melis! I’ve loved this song for so long, but didn’t know the story until recently. How beautifully ironic that a blind woman wrote about where to look when we’re weary! It’s a privilege to have virtual fellowship with you. Praying for joy for your day and that you’ll know that you’re ‘doing well in the things that count.’
      ~ Debbie

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