Here am I, send me.
Have you ever had absolutely nothing to say in the dead of the moment under pressure only to think of the perfect response later in the shower or when you’re trying to go to sleep? If I had to guess, I’d say this is precisely what Moses meant when he told God that he is slow to speech and slow to tongue. He didn’t have the luxury of social media which now allows a small portion of grace to those of us who need time to think before we comment. Can it really be considered courage when we find ourselves arguing from behind a keyboard? I suppose it depends on what the stakes are.
As parents, we don’t have that luxury of social media buffers when we leave the comfort of our homes and venture out to school board meetings or other community events. Talk about uncomfortable. I would have rather eloped or been invisible at my own wedding, let alone be seen speaking before the school board. In one of my very first public speeches, I noted that there must be something terribly wrong in the world if you see me with a microphone. It goes against my every natural inclination except one, my love and devotion to my community and my country.
If I see people I know at the grocery store, my natural inclination is to somehow, without even a stitch of yellow on my body, blend in with the bananas to avoid being seen by someone I literally sat and spoke with the day before. Not because I don’t love them but because I’m simply slow to speech and so I instinctively want to grab every extra second I can to prepare myself for the encounter. Meanwhile my husband goes all in with hugs and affirmation with someone, even though he hasn’t even seen or spoken to them in over 30 years. It’s a ridiculous tendency, I know. I laugh at myself often.
Moses’ hesitation seems quite ridiculous too considering he had just witnessed God turn his staff into a snake and back again. He had just witnessed God turn his healthy hand to a leprous one and healed it again within less than a minute. He had just witnessed God turn water into blood. Note how all these miracles could not have been witnessed by Moses without his obedience. Even when it was just him and God, he had to step out in faith just to throw his staff to the ground and pick up a snake by its tail. He had to step out in faith just to put his hand to his bosom and back again when it was clearly white as snow with leprosy. He had to step out in faith and believe that he would eventually go to the Nile to gather water and pour blood out on the ground as the final proof that God had indeed sent him to set the Hebrews free. By His grace and mercy, I have seen so many miracles in my own life and yet I still hesitate to answer God’s calling even to this day.
You do not need to believe in God in order to be a member of Moms for Liberty, but my faith has largely been a part of my own personal process.
Requests for media interviews are comparable to taking a polar plunge or streaking down the 50 yard line during halftime. Speaking of streaking, the gray streaks in my hair have been coming in nicely over the last two years as I die to myself every day and answer the call as a Moms for Liberty Chapter Chair. Maybe that’s why Proverbs 16:31 says gray hair is a crown of splendor and is attained in the way of righteousness. I wasn’t exactly looking for a crown of splendor for speaking the truth on a stage or on camera but I suppose it’s inevitable when you deny yourself and step out of your comfort zone in faith.
God responded to Moses’ hesitation by reminding him that He made his mouth. Not only that, He told Moses He would teach him what to say. Even still, Moses said, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.” In other words, “Please God, make someone else do it.” I’d say the majority of Wilson County can relate to this as we list all the reasons why we shouldn’t review the curriculum, ask the uncomfortable questions or submit a request to speak before the school board. For me, 3-5 minutes can seem like a lifetime until I actually sit down to write out what needs to be said. Suddenly, I have 30 minutes of talking points that need to be whittled down to 3. Lord, teach me what needs to be said and how to say it.
When Moses asked God to send someone else to speak, the anger of the Lord burned. I wonder what that must have felt like to Moses in that moment. Is the anger of the Lord burning against you today because you refuse to be obedient to His calling? Or maybe you’re like Elijah, hiding in a cave because it feels as if the entire world is out to get you because you are the only one left who is dedicated to the cause. Or maybe you’re like Jonah, assuming you’re above it all because your community and your country is unworthy of redemption. May we mature from Exodus 4:13, heal from 1 King 19:9-18 and be humbled by Jonah 4. When God says go, we can trust Him to go with us. When God says speak, we can trust Him to give us the words. When God wants to show the opposition mercy, we can trust we also still need His mercy.
May we get over ourselves, our limitations, our security, our social status and all. Perhaps we need a dose of God’s glory as Isaiah did in chapter 6 verse 8 when he says, “Here am I, send me.” Whenever we feel “the nudge” in our spirit, may we obediently push ourselves to step out in faith despite our own limitations and finite understanding and may we humbly do the uncomfortable thing.
Chapter Chair, Wilson County, TN