Here I Am

from the album: 
I've Been Freed (MP3)
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Audio excerpt: End of verse 1 into verse 2
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Lyrics & notes

6 Feb 1975

here I am
crying again
my heart is breaking in two
here I stand
my love in my hand
I'm ready to give it to you

somehow I'm always expecting too much
and right now I long for your healing touch

here am I
just one lonely guy
that don't wanna hear no more lies
here I am
and here I will stay
please teach me to rest in your ways

(repeat chorus)

here I stand
my love in my hand
I'm ready to give it to you

just let me be what you want me to be
and from all of myself, Lord, please set me free

here I am
my life's in your hands

℗ © Creative Measures (ASCAP) (originally Trinity Sound Corporation, 1976)

1977 Notes:

When we believe in Jesus we become identified with Him. We become identified with His death, burial, and resurrection. Our old self has been crucified with Him, and it is no longer we who live, but He lives through us.

One of the hardest lessons of this past year has been that no part of self can be excluded from the cross. When I came to the altar, I was not bringing my total self. I only nailed to the cross those things I readily recognized as bad or ugly. I gave up my pride, my wrong desires, and many other things that I realized were sinful. But I have come to see that even those things that are good and acceptable to me must be surrendered to the cross—even love. This has been a long, bitter struggle, for love was much more precious to me than my sins, and since I considered it to be supremely good, it was just that much harder to give up.

It's not so much that my love was bad, but that it proceeded from self, and nothing from self is perfect, or can become part of the Kingdom of God. When we exchange our life for His, we must surrender everything—even our love—to His way, the way of the cross. It is when I gave up even love that I began to understand what love really is.

Galatians 2:20

2006 Notes:

Boy, you can tell I was reading Watchman Nee when I wrote that one! Who among us hasn't felt the disappointment that comes from expecting too much? The resignation of that line, and the last chorus, "Just let me be what you want me to be"... These are still very powerful for me, and I love this song. It's the most personal song on the album.

After one of my college concerts, a few years after I recorded this, I was talking with a student in one of the dorms. I don't remember too much about our conversation, but I do remember that he seemed to know me much better than should have been possible, because I had not known him long. Don't know how it came up, but we started talking about this song, and at one point, he turned to me and, with a look that seemed to stop the turning world, he said, "If you don't want to hear any more lies, don't tell any." What he meant exactly, I'm still not sure, but it bothered me. I had tried to be honest in everything I said and sang and did, and here was this guy telling me not to tell lies.

Maybe he could see better than I could. Maybe he could see deep within me to all those struggles I couldn't name. Could I be hiding behind my honesty? There's a line in Another Country where the main character's friend says, "You wouldn't be in the mess you are now if you had any discretion at all." Then the protagonist replies, "What better cover for someone like me than total indiscretion?" Could I have been using honesty as a cover? Strange thought. But as it turned out, I was hiding. Not because I was trying to pull something over on anyone, but because I didn't know myself well enough yet. It would be nine more years before light started to dawn. Eleven before the closet door, so to speak, would swing tentatively open.