“Here I am” is one of the golden phrases from the Bible. It should drive our lives. Moses used it, Abraham said it, Jacob said it. Later Samuel and Isaiah also uttered those words. “Here I am. I am ready, Lord. Tell me what needs to be done. I’m here for you.”
The Hebrew word for it is “Hineni.” (Pronounced hih-NENN-eh). According to the internet, it’s a popular tattoo. I guess that’s a good thing.
Here I am is usually recognized as a statement of availability and willingness, but it can also be our way of asking for God’s help. “Here I am, Lord; stuck in this same rut. Yup, I fell for it once again. Please help me.” God doesn’t ask whether we’re prepared; he just asks where we are. All He needs from us is a willing response. We say, “Here I am.” He takes it from there.
God has called us to Him in this way since the dawn of creation. The third chapter of Genesis tells the story of the fall of mankind. Adam and Eve were seduced by the serpent into disobeying God. Ashamed and afraid of God’s wrath, they hid themselves. It is the only time in the Bible that God called and his people did not answer. You can almost hear the sadness in God’s voice when he calls out to his beloved children, “Where are you?”
I sit and write this the first day after Easter Sunday. My Lenten observances are done (I did not say they were well done, just done), Easter Mass is a pleasant memory, and the Easter candy and dinner have left their own memory around my waistline. Now it’s Monday morning. Time to face the work week, to move on to the next thing in my life. It may be a big thing or a small thing. Most likely this week will be a series of big-ish and small-ish things. The usual stuff of life. But here I am.
Here I am, Lord. You see me in my flaws and defects as well as my aspirations and talents. You know where I have been; you understand even better than I do why I am where I am today. But I am and will always be your child; a glorious child of god, but a mischievous and misbehaving child. I offer up all of that for your great purposes. Where do you need me today? Who needs me today? Direct me, Abba. Here I am.