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.

 

The Ostrich

There is a common myth that ostriches, when sensing danger, bury their heads in the sand. It’s one of the first phrases we learn when being taught to take responsibility during difficult times. Stop burying your head in the sand, and just deal with it.

Myth buster – ostriches don’t do that. When they are aware of a predator, they lie down, extend their necks, place their heads flat against the ground, and stay very still. They don’t “hide their heads in the sand” at all.

Mother Nature’s poster child for avoiding the tough talk…doesn’t.

See, nothing in nature can truly avoid life’s challenging moments. Not for long, anyway. The ostrich will always have to lie in wait to see its fate. Just like the rest of us.

Alas we all have to face the music. We have to recognize that conditions have changed forever (sometimes in the blink of an eye) – we have to change accordingly. We have to realize that, what we hoped was a “lifetime friendship” was only meant to be temporary – we must say goodbye. We are forced to look in the mirror and admit “it didn’t go my way” – we go forward with bittersweet, sometimes lonely, steps.

Indeed, most of life’s toughest decisions are not about making the easiest decision, are they? As she often did, the late Dr. Maya Angelou still soothes us with her wisdom, “when you know better, you do better.” Perhaps, it’s brave enough to attempt to make the best decision you can.

And, instead of relying on it, consider it a bonus if your best decision happens to be easy, as well.

ostrich-sand.jpg

(image borrowed from http://www.thornybleeder.com)