When one of my children was a newborn, I was home listening to worship music while my family attended church services. In the living room, as I rocked the baby nestled in my arms, I remember volunteering for the Lord’s service after Mercy Me’s “Here Am I”.
In Isaiah 6, Isaiah hears the Lord ask, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah answers, “Here I am. Send me!”
In Mercy Me’s song, they also ask, “Who shall I send? Who will go for me?” We can be missionaries in foreign lands or in areas of our own country. We don’t even have to travel. We can proclaim the love of Jesus to those searching for answers as the song says, in all we do and say, unashamed. When the question is asked, whether in music or in the Bible, my heart still thrills to say, “Send me.”
I have no desire to travel to foreign lands though. I support those who do. I am impressed and convicted by missionaries I know personally such as Natalie and Pierre Charlotin in Haiti through One Gift, One Child, as just one example. While I support some foreign and local missions, I feel my mission work is right where I live, literally, through raising my children and home schooling. I also believe my writing is a form of mission work because I’m better at speaking on paper than verbally. While encouraging a small group now, my efforts may grow much larger depending on what God’s vision is for my offerings.
On discouraging days, I may weep in genuine pain over failing to have served in the capacity that carries such a big responsibility that started with the simple request of “send me”. But a quiet thought struck one day that I raised my children the best that I could, and they have indeed gone out into the world representing Jesus to those who do not know Him.
Most of us don’t think about our lives sharing the Gospel message because we are simply living life the best we know how, facing our struggles and weaknesses, joys and heartaches like everyone else. Yet we stand out even if we aren’t consciously trying to. We are different because we love Jesus, and we have His guidance when we ask. We want people to see love and kindness, of course, but we aren’t perfect. If anyone watches long enough, she will discover we are human. When others see us fail, they can know that even in our mistakes, we are still loved by God, just as they are. In life we learn about each other and learn about forgiveness, mercy, and grace. None of us is perfect, but we can know the perfect One personally, and that makes all the difference. Having hope and purpose are two benefits.
This reminds me of another Mercy Me song, “On My Way to You” which echoes another prayer I have had for years. In this prayer I want God to teach me how to think like He does and to show me what is true, to help me act and speak in ways that honor Him. And as this second song says, finish the work he started in me as I travel this life to Him as I live for Him.
We are all walking this road together. Has your heart whispered, “Send me?” Where is your mission field?
Picture from my son’s mission trip to Ecuador.