Christ · Christian Living · Church · Culture · Culture & Society · Forgiveness · God · Holy Spirit · Salvation

Here Am I, Send Me

“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” (Isa. 6:8).

It is sometimes impossible to know what triggers a memory, but recently an early memory came to my mind. I was a small child once again, perhaps six or seven. My mother had recently divorced my father after nineteen years of marriage. I did not know why, and would not be told for many years to come. What I knew in that moment was that two adults and three small children were living in a tiny upstairs efficiency apartment on Berkeley Street in Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas. There was my mother, an alcoholic and abusive stepfather, my two sisters, and myself. I did not know how difficult and desperate the next few years were about to become. Sometimes God protects little children by giving them unusual peace and calmness in a volatile and hostile environment. On the night of my memory, there was peace, and a growing excitement.

In the providence of the Lord, my mother had found out that Dr. Lee Robertson, pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee was going to speak at the Galilean Baptist Church on Tenth Street in Dallas, Texas. The church had been established by the great Southern Independent Baptist preacher, and evangelist, Dr. John R. Rice. Bob Keyes was the pastor at the moment. Mother wanted to attend the service.

My stepfather agreed, but said only one of the children could come. Overhearing that, my young heart beat a little faster. I remember thinking, “Pick me. Choose me. I want to go.” To my astonishment, and surprise, I was chosen to go to the service that night. It was the only time I can remember being in a church service with my stepfather, and one of the very few times I attended a church service with my mother.

That desperate longing to go to church never left my heart. I was delighted again when mother learned the church had a bus ministry. An old blue school bus would come by the apartment to pick me and my sisters up, take us to Sunday School, and church on Sunday mornings, and bring us home again. There was no cost.

I value that childhood memory, because it reflects a lifelong desire for the Lord to “Pick me!” “Lord, choose me for salvation.” “Lord, choose me to go to church.” “Jesus, choose me to preach the gospel.” ”Lord, send me to the ends of the earth.” “Lord, let me write gospel literature that will touch lives.” “Here am I Lord, send me.”

More than half a century later, having been privileged to be a local pastor for 32 years, having gone to 14 nations by invitation to preach, having visited 35 nations in total, having written 35 books to date, I am so grateful that God had mercy on a little child who cried in his young heart with the spirit of Isaiah saying, “Here am I, send me.” “Send me to Jesus for salvation.” “Send me to church.” “Send me into Christian service.” “Send me.” Perhaps that is your testimony too.

“I, am Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in the dark and sin,
My hand will save.

I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light 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…

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…

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?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord.
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling
in the nigh…

I will go, Lord,
If You lead me,
I will hold Your people
in my heart…”

Based on Isaiah 6
Dan Schutte

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:38). And Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).

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