Here I Am, Lord…but, do you REALLY need me?

At the Episcopal School of Dallas, we used to sing a hymn that had an impact on most of us, regardless of our faith or disbelief. Perhaps, many students struggling with disbelief benefited from it more than I did? Anyway, it is referred to as “Here I am Lord” or sometimes, “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky.”

“Here I am Lord” was written in 1981 by Dan Schutte. It’s based on two passages, but one echoed from the pulpit in my church in Luzern this morning and reminded me of my ESD days: Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

It’s Isaiah 6:8. It is about a small voice declaring willingness to go. Choose me. Me. I will serve You. I will be brave.

Even when it isn’t convenient. Even when I am comfortable doing what I am doing. Even when I would really, really, really prefer you phone or Tweet or send a pigeon carrier to someone else for this task.

Even when I feel afraid.

In high school, I sincerely questioned this text. What does it mean to say you are ready? To say you will stop what you are doing and live the life God wants you to live?

I’m decades older now and my answer is still the same: “Here I am, Lord. I will go.” I still do not know why I must or how I will, but I know I will always turn my life over to God, if He’s found a use for it.

I sang this hymn at the funeral of my beloved Zachary “We Got Jungle Fever” Bell (ESD, ’97). This was the verse that moved me then and moved me today, as well.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them, They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

Copyright: Dan Schutte

 

I will go Lord, if You lead me.

 

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