Here I am Lord…

I first heard the song by this name half-a-dozen years ago in Michigan.  The first line in the chorus seemed based on the story of Samuel –Hannah’s child she had dedicated to the Lord’s service. (scripture below)

I’d located a recording of the song and have been singing it since, but the words just recently gained a deeper meaning, when I realized I’d been reading one important line in the chorus wrong.  What a difference I saw!  Here are the words: As you read them, note that God is speaking in the verses, and one of His children is answering in the chorus, which is bolded, to show what I overlooked.

Here I Am, Lord

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 born my peoples 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?

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.

My mistake was rephrasing the first line of the chorus, thinking it was continuing the response:

I read:   Here I am Lord – It is I, Lord.

Most importantly, I inadvertently changed the punctuation.  Do you see how the meaning and the mood is changed with my error?

Whom shall I send, the Lord asked.

Here I am Lord.  (my response, yes, but…)  to add It is I Lord now makes no sense at all.  Of course the Lord knows it is me.

Last Saturday, I saw the words enlarged on the wall, huge in size and still I sang it wrong.  The elderly gentleman next to me whispered, “Is it I?” and for the first time I heard the question mark – I looked up at the words, and I saw the question mark…

Is it I Lord? Finally, I got it.

Here I am – a nobody cleansed and lifted up by God’s own son, able now to be known as “God’s child”.

Here I am – and God – the Almighty Elohim – the great I AM – is talking …to me!

And so I respond first by saying I am listening: Here I am, Lord.

Then I respond to His question, with a question  (how Jewish is that!)

Asking Him, eagerly…excited…could it be true, that You, Oh God, would choose me for this mission to love your people for you?

Is it I Lord?

then the conversation continues…

I have heard you

I will go Lord,

if you lead  (transitive verb- to urge or drive forward or on by or as if by the exertion of strong moral pressure : (felt impelled to …) to impart motion to : propel )

(I will not be afraid although I know for certain I am not capable of this on my own, but if I know that YOU are leading me (nudging me, guiding me) then…

I will go and

I will hold your people in my heart.

That little lesson encouraged me to review Samuel’s story which taught me at least four things:

1.     I need to be listening for the Lord’s voice as I read His Word

2.     I need to acknowledge to God that I am listening and then be quiet to hear what He has to say

3.     It’s not about me “accepting” God’s call, but about God’s choosing/accepting me!

4.     I need to remember that wherever God calls me to go, and whatever He calls me to do, He will be there, leading me.  What a comfort and what a load off my       shoulders!  I am once again reminded I am not the Messiah – I am just a messenger.  God still does the work, I just deliver His message.


Taught again by the example of a child – this time a boy named Samuel:

1Sam. 3:1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli.

1Sam. 3:3-4 … and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was, that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.”

1Sam. 3:8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy.

1Sam. 3:9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Thy servant is listening.’”

One Comment on “Here I am Lord…

  1. Very good. We sing this song at my church too. I have a severe/profound hearing loss so I often misunderstand the words of a song. i can really relate to you on this.


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