Growing up as the child of missionaries, I attended more than my fair share of missions fairs, conferences, and emphasis weeks. And none of them were complete without Dan Schutte’s beautiful hymn, Here I Am, Lord. The final verse is my favorite:
I the Lord of wind and flame/ I will tend the poor and lame/
I will set a feast for them/ My hand will save/
Finest bread I will provide/ Till their hearts be satisfied/
I will give my life to them/ Whom shall I send?
Whenever I hear these lyrics, I picture a lovely, intimate conversation between God and Isaiah. Perhaps it is. But if we look closely at the setting of Isaiah’s encounter with God in today’s passage, and the prophet-to-be’s response, the scene is a bit more daunting and frightening than a lovely, heroic duet between God and prophet assumes.
God essentially tells Isaiah that his prophecies will fall on ears that are unwilling to hear and eyes that are unwilling to see. Not exactly an appealing call. Yet God is still hopeful. God hopes that Isaiah will go and say and do the hard things, knowing his life will not be as lyrical as the song.
What would our worship look like if we sang about the verses that follow verse 8? Would we sing a hymn that names how stubborn we are and how we don’t always listen to God? Would we honestly proclaim our need for God’s healing? Would the chorus, “Here I am Lord, heal me,” become our favorite anthem?
Before we point out the needs and imperfections of the world, what in your life needs healing?
Here I am, Lord. Don’t let my heart be satisfied with easy answers to hard questions. Give me the courage to show up and pursue the questions you want me to ask. Amen.