“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” – Isaiah 6:8 (NRSV)
“Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.” – Isaiah 58:9 (NRSV)
Isaiah 6:8 is perhaps one of the most famous “Here am I” sections in the scripture. It is a vibrant scene as God calls out for a messenger and Isaiah (without knowing what the message would be) responds with a willing heart, “Here am I; send me.” It’s a stirring moment in scripture that has become a foundational text for missionaries. Yet, it’s not the only “Here I am” moment in the book of Isaiah. In Isaiah 58 God flips the script. The pattern of:
God calls then we respond becomes… We call then God responds
It is God who models willingness. It is love divine that shows up hope, vulnerability, and trust. To our cry for help God says, “Here I am” and in this response there is a powerful truth.
In the book of Exodus God shares the divine name with Moses. The meaning of the divine name is mostly a mystery yet our best understanding of the name, YHWH, is “I am who I am” or “the Great I am”.
It is a way of saying, I am beyond every boundary and greater than your imagination. All that is, finds its source in me. I am hope; I am healing; I am grace; I am truth. I am wisdom; I am redemption; I am peace; I am love.
In the midst of our distress, at ground zero of our anger, in our confusion, our celebration, our work, wherever we find ourselves let us call out to God and listen for the Holy One to say to us, “Here. I am.”
“The best thing of all is God is with us.” – John Wesley
God be here. Be with me in the fullness of my life. Be here, full of grace and truth. Amen.