Lord give me eyes that I may see (website only)

Authors & translators:
Nicholls, Ken
Elements of Worship:
Dismissal/Sending Out
Special Sundays:
Methodist Homes Sunday


Lord give me eyes that I may see
all that I am but still could be,
and that your grace has set me free
to be your child.

You scolded those who turned away,
the young who came with you to play,
and those who listened heard you say
“I came for them.”

May I not lose my child-like mind,
content in all my Lord to find
and never to your grace be blind
but wonder still.

And when I lose my body's fight
and eyes grow weak and lose their sight
may I still keep the inward light
that sees you still.

Words: © 2010, 2024 Ken Nicholls
Metre: 88.84.
Suggested tune: Ripponden (StF 709)

Ideas for use

Ken’s words sit well with the story of Jesus blessing a group of children who have been held back by the disciples (see below). Alongside the other hymns also under More Information, this hymn may be helpful in planning an intergenerational service – exploring the gifts we have in younger and older age, and how we can share these with one another.

At the same time, this is a hymn that acknowledges physical frailty. It offers a sung reflection on hope and grace that doesn’t shy away from human reality. In the right context, it may be helpful as a spoken prayer when visiting those who are housebound or are coming to terms with the impact of longer-term illness or disability.

If you can, take time to learn the tune Ripponden. It is not as familiar as some tunes but has a wonderful upward leap that accompanies line 3 of each verse, suggestive of the commitment and hopefulness with which these words are imbued.

More information

Ken Nicholls’ hymn may have older people in mind, particularly in its last verse, but the prayer at its heart – to understand that God’s grace has set us free to be God’s children – is lifelong. This is the great assertion made by the writer of 1 John: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” (1 John 3: 1 – 3; cf. Galatians 3: 25 – 29)

Ken’s words also offer themselves as a companion piece to Leith Fisher’s fine hymn of grace, Says Jesus, "Come and gather round" (StF 510). Leith begins with the scene Ken alludes to – of Jesus welcoming children to be blessed (e.g. Mark 10: 13 – 16). Leith continues in v2:

Christ speaks to those who, growing old,
get burdened down with care …
He points to gifts that children bring –
the will to risk, the trust to dare,
through which, no matter where we are,
we’ll find God always there.

For Ken it is the keeping of the “inward light” (never blind to God’s grace, always nurturing the ability to wonder) that is the real gift when outward faculties become more limited, including perhaps physical eyesight. There are echoes here, too, of the Scottish minister George Matheson, blind from the age of 17, who wrote of the divine “light that followest all my way” (O love that wilt not let me go, StF 636).

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