So I spent last Friday afternoon in a three hour funeral for a friend that was way too young to die. Not that we are ever ready or “old enough” but it was an interesting experience. The eulogy was given by one of her best friend’s since she was 6 years old who also was a pastor. She delivered one of the most moving tributes to another person that I’d heard in a long time not because of what she said, because it genuinely spurned us to leave there with an action in mind. To be better people and do more for the world around us. It is easy for me to imagine and know without a shadow of a doubt my dear friend has moved on from here and is most certainly helping with the bigger and brighter things that awaited her.
What got me thinking most of all was the fact that the pastor focused on the passage in Isaiah 6:8 that says, “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!”. My friend, so many times in her life was the one that easily said “Send me”, without reserve, without fear, and most often filled with passion and love for those around her.
It got me to thinking. So many of us (pointing the finger at myself most of all – despite how assured we seem) struggle to be the first to stand and scream “Send Me”. We find reasons that we can’t go, reasons why someone else is a better fit, deserves it more, or should go in our place. We don’t want that moment stolen from us because of our fear, but we cower none the less afraid of the monsters that we have created in our head – the poor outcomes, the sadness, the lonliness, the failure that might befall our attempt at greatness.
The greatness doesn’t have to be amazing, it can be as simply as agreeing to really live our lives, come what may. To wake up and walk out in our path humble as it may be. What would have happened if Jesus had not been brave enough to step out and say, “Send Me”? He was brave, kind, and humble, but He also was obedient. He understood the stakes and the sacrifice and He still did it. If He hadn’t he very might have well left a human sized hole in the world or perhaps there wouldn’t even be any world as we know it. My friend once posed a question that sticks with me very clearly as I pen this to you. She said, “Whose prayers are not getting answered while we fear the ability to walk into our destiny? She then went on to say, “You know what an unanswered prayer feels like. Why would you do that to someone”. It was, in many ways, a slap in the face. I had never really thought of the ripple effect of my resistance to go, to do, to write, to speak and to reach out and what kind of hole it might have been leaving. People always talk about the ripple effect of things, yet discount it when it is a small, yet significant element in the puzzle (according to our own estimation).
We often like to convince ourselves of our importance, but many of us have the opposing disease as we convince ourselves of our lack of importance just the same. We convince ourselves that no one will miss us, that we have little impact or influence over others, that the choices we make have no ripple effect. I can refute that lack of importance seven sitting from where I am, not knowing who any of you really are. I will bet the money in my pocket that in some way – each of you influenced anpthers life today (For the good or the Bad). The smile you had trouble finding today might have been the only one someone saw today. When you scooted over on the bus, the closeness of another made someone feel alive. Your “hello” made someone feel acknowledged.
If the greater beyond intended to have carbon copies of the same formula of humanity and it didn’t matter that there specifically was a “You” it would be that way. Faster than you and I could conceptualize it, it would be fact. He intended us each to live our lives – and live them well. In kindness, in service to others, in joy and in hope. He intends us, when He asks, to say SEND ME. I don’t know specifically where he will send you – but I do know it’s important.