Here I Am Lord

Hand in Hand

I went to a baptism yesterday at our church. Kelsey – the young woman who was baptized – literally glowed, and the spirit present was incredibly strong. After she was baptized, she and a friend sang a song that truly touched my heart. It was one I had not heard before as it is not in our hymnal, but it made such an impression on me that I came home and googled it and then purchased it on I-Tunes. I have played it over and over this evening because it is such a beautiful piece. It is titled “Here I am Lord”, and the author, Daniel L. Schutte, is a Jesuit priest who composes comtemporary music for Catholic liturgies.

When I go to church, there are songs that I have heard all my life that speak to my heart. One is “I Know that my Redeemer Lives”. Another is “I Stand All Amazed”. Both speak of Christ and all that he has done for us, and both are familiar enough that I don’t need a hymnal to sing them. When I sing them, I feel as if I am singing my testimony of a living God, and my heart feels like it will burst sometimes as the spirit testifies to me of the truth of the words.

It never really occurred to me until today, however, that people who convert to a new religion might have to become familiar with songs they have not sung before. What would it be like for me to go to a church where I never had the opportunity to sing my beloved hymns again? That is why I am so grateful to Kelsey and her friend Kathryn, both raised in the Catholic church for sharing this beautiful hymn. When I told them how gorgeous and touching it was, Kelsey said, “That is what is familiar to me. Those are the words I have sung growing up.” Familiarity indeed brings us comfort, and I hope to become familiar with this song as I found the words most comforting even the first time through.

The text is taken from Genesis 46:2, “And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.”

If God calls you to perform a difficult task, do you say, “Not today Lord, I have too much on my plate. Ask me again next week.”? Or do you say, as Jacob did, “Here am I.”? Take time this Sabbath day to ponder that question.
Below are the words that meant so much to me when they were sung this afternoon.

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.

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 words to them.
Who 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,
’til their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life 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.

photo credit

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1 Comment

Filed under Religion

One response to “Here I Am Lord

  1. Maribeth

    What is the name of the painting displayed on your post dated 6 January 2008? I would love to get a print for our darling granddaughter.

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