Contemplative Corner – “Here I Am; Send Me”

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

Amy Carmichael was born in Ireland in 1867 to a devout Christian family. At 26 years of age she was commissioned by the Church of England and became a missionary, first in Japan and Sri Lanka, but later settled in India. There she lived until her death in 1951 faithfully serving God’s call to a ministry of rescuing temple children, both boys and girls, from temple prostitution. She later established a Protestant religious order in 1916 called Sisters of the Common Life. She is venerated as a saint in the Anglican Communion and represents many Protestant saints and missionaries who gave and continue to give up their lives to serve God. She has become a role model, spiritual mother and historical mentor for many who are committed to walking the narrow road of the cross of Christ in today’s world. She was a prolific writer and once received a letter from a young woman considering life as a missionary who asked, “What is missionary life like?” Amy wrote back, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.” (Philippians 1:21-24) We too can be encouraged by her life to go into the world to love and serve one another for Christ. 

Below is a poem written by her that delineates her spirituality and devotion to Christ. (Please understand the language below reflects her time which in no way diminishes her words of love.  She considered herself a soldier for Christ as noted below.)

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

Amy Carmichael