Vermont_5Tonight I’m marinating in Isaiah 6; the familiar throne room vision.  The “Whom shall I send?” and the “Here am I.” and the coal and the woe and the unclean lips.

I’ve read it a million times and I know the jist.  I am a sinner.   So unworthy.  But Christ has redeemed me- Now I will run and shout it from the rooftops and tell the whole world and….

I get hung up on the sinner part, (anybody?) and so naturally tonight I tried to dig down into my depths and count all my sins and promise to stay on my knees until they hurt and I know, really know, I’m white as snow and all jazzed up with fire in my veins to PREACH IT, amen!

But it isn’t working.  I swear there are a herd of crickets in my room.

I found this commentary online tonight and it points out that Isaiah is aware of his sin, and that he is totally unworthy to be in God’s presence, but his sin is no greater than his neighbour’s, or the people he is being sent to with a prophecy.  Sin doesn’t make him unique, we’re all doing it, you know.  And I realized that Isaiah is standing there in the presence of God with the glory streaming about him in a terrifyingly amazing way and instead of being led into an all out Hillsong concert, Isaiah is thinking of himself, of his state, of what should befall him for being there.  He’s not thinking “Woah man- awesome.”  He’s thinking “Woe, man.”

But tonight its not the sin that’s gripping me or even the good news of my salvation (gasp), but rather the “Here am I.  Send me.”

I always envision it being said enthusiastically and want to put it on some reclaimed pallet in distressed paint and vinyl cutouts- motivation to gird up my passions and hit the pavement so to speak.  I mean if Isaiah- a guy bringing a message of doom and gloom is all, ‘Let’s get this party started!’, then how could I not be pumped to share the good news?

And there is a part of me that wants to say I am.  The message I bring is good.  It may sting for a bit, but it’s honey, baby.  Even on the bee sting days, still honey.  So, “Here am I.  Send me!”  Just look at the other messengers; Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker, Lysa Terkeurst, Ann Voskamp.  (Can you tell I have some girl crushes?)

I have what they have! Let me be them!!  Changing the world, popular, beautiful, published!!!

But what if I am just like them and no one ever knows it?  What if I dig into God’s word with Beth’s passion and expound it with Jen’s prose and have the peace and love of the Voskamp farm and the quirky, let-me-bring-revival-via-text-message like Lysa, but I don’t get to be popular or start any movements or be published?

Do I still want to go?

What if Isaiah didn’t say “Here am I.  Send me.”  with gusto and zeal?  What if he realized he was the only one who showed up to the service project (again) and shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well I showed up, I’ll go.”  Or what if he was just another Boy Scout looking to pin some more badges on his tunic?  Or a momma’s boy saying just the right thing to ensure some love?

Tonight the coals aren’t hot and the state of my sin isn’t bothering me, I’m all verklempt about whether or not I really want to go.  

I’ve been feeling it for a bit, a calling to a closer, tighter, more intimate, personal relationship with God.  And I’ve had to make some tough choices to start going that direction which have left me feeling like an outsider in my faith community.  And when I dig into God’s Word I start writing and my bedtime slips past and then I get so tired.  The sacrifices.  Do I really want to go?

What if going means more time alone with God and less with people- I don’t do lonely well.  What if He gives me an unpopular message and then equips me to deliver it, do I even want to?  Could I be that bold.  What if he could change my world, which I’m not exactly holding onto with vice grips, but the unknown….I don’t know.

And now I understand the aforementioned Woe.  Woe is me for I would choose any thing over more of God.  Woe is me, for I am standing here being invited into God’s courts and I’m considering other options.  Woe is me.

For the amazing truth of my salvation to pale beside my self, I must be crazy.  It’s always better to love God than to love life.  To trust Him instead of myself.  To be open to His opportunities instead of focused on my shortcomings.

How could I not want to go to Him?

Woe… Woah…. Here am I…. Take me.

winter road

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