HERE I AM, LORD
(lyrics by Dan Schutte)
I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in 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.
“Here I am Lord!” I said. I have sung this song since childhood. It has been one of my favorite hymns mainly because I always felt as though I could be saying those exact words to God. Ever since I can remember, this has been one of my deepest desires, to be called by name by God to do His will. Although I truly believe I have been carrying out the Lord’s will for some time, I don’t think I have experienced a situation that was so focused and so clearly the evidence of His divine providence until this past weekend.
I was invited to visit some friends who were staying in Boston. They are actually old friends who live in Colorado and I met them while we all lived there. They come to Boston fairly often on business trips. Now that I moved to Connecticut, I could easily drive to Boston to meet them so I eagerly accepted their invitation. I had not seen them in over a year. In arranging the details of the meeting, several choices arose which would determine how the visit would proceed, and based on these simple decisions, I found myself actively answering the Lord’s call without being aware of it. I was only aware that my answers to the possibilities were different than they would have been without the Holy Spirit dictating what they should be.
First, I was presented with the question of whether to stay with my friends or in my own hotel room. Given my personal preference, I would stay in my own room because I like having privacy. However, the Spirit prompted me to accept my friends’ invitation to stay with them; I somehow felt it was the right thing to do. On arriving in Boston, I received a text from my friends asking me to join them for dinner. I was very hungry after a long, hard drive and was just about to grab dinner when I saw this text. For some reason, I once again altered my plans and followed my inner motivation to go outside my comfort zone to spend more time with these friends. We would meet at the hotel and walk over to the restaurant together. I wound up having to wait quite awhile for them to arrive and was becoming slightly irritated. When I finally saw them, their demeanor was not what I expected. As I got closer, it became clear they were all crying. One in particular was shaking and unable to speak; she was having a panic attack. I suddenly went into panic mode myself – what happened to cause this sheer terror in my friend? Her husband, also in tears, was finally able to tell me that her cousin had passed away and it was a shock.
The family was obviously going through a crisis, so I began looking for ways to excuse myself from the situation. I have never been good at dealing with crises, and often felt more “in the way” than helpful. I did not want to be a burden to my friends, so I suggested it might be better for me to find my own room for the night. It was at this moment God called me. I could see His intent through the eyes of my friend’s husband as he humbly asked, “Would you mind watching our daughter?” My friend was still shaking, and her husband needed to comfort her, but he could not take care of her and their young daughter at the same time.
God’s divine plan and His will has never been so obvious to me before in my entire life. It was the first time I ever felt as though I was truly living the words of that favorite song. Whom shall the Lord send? Send me, Lord! And it was He who led me. If I had not said yes to the invitation to stay with my friends, or if I had not said yes to their dinner invitation, I would not have been waiting in the hotel lobby at the exact moment they needed help.
I have never been so honored or so humbled to be chosen by the Lord, especially with the task He asked me to perform. He asked me not only to watch over my friend’s child, but His own child as well. This is not a task I would normally consider; childcare does not come naturally to me. The Lord is changing my heart and soul; He is asking me to embrace new challenges. In all honesty, I was not equipped to take care of my friend’s daughter; I was extremely tired and my blood sugars were rather low because I had not eaten, but I said yes to that request anyway. Through that yes, the Holy Spirit was allowed to take control, acting through me to make sure my friend’s child was cared for till my friend regained her composure.
After the initial shock wore off, and we ate some food (which I also went out to purchase), we were able to think through everything a bit better. The rest of the weekend was filled with good conversation and some sight-seeing, but most of all, with love. Our friendship is now much stronger after weathering these circumstances. I will continue to ask the Lord to send me wherever He wants me to go. He just needs to lead me, and after this past weekend, I have complete trust that He will.