As a child I was brought up in the Catholic church; however, I did not develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ until 1999. My transformation was enabled by the prompting of the Holy Spirit and through Christian music, in particular the songs “Liquid” and “Love Song for a Savior” from the multi-platinum rock group Jars of Clay. Once I knew the saving love of Jesus, I started collecting every Christian CD out there. I love Third Day, Jars of Clay, Newsboys, dc Talk and Michael W. Smith from the '90s and could identify with some of their songs, but not always in a personal way.
Then came Shaun Groves in late 2001 with the hit "Welcome Home," and I was forever hooked by the personal nature of the song. If you are not familiar with the "Welcome Home," please read the lyrics here
The metaphor of my heart—-being a home with rooms that needed cleaning and desperately wanting Jesus to make a home with me—-helped fill a longing that only deepens as I get to know my Lord and Savior Jesus.
Thanks Shaun for writing and singing what's on my heart such as in my favorite song "Here I Am," which is based on my life verse Isaiah 6:8
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!"
Shaun has an amazing message that he conveys with this song on his independent release One Night In Knoxville,
which makes me cry every time I hear "Here I Am" including the time he performed it at my church on July 15, 2007.
I recently had an opportunity to speak with Shaun Groves about this song.
For his second album Twilight
, Shaun had gotten out of the habit of writing songs to God for himself without thinking about his audience. He became very busy living out of hotels, buses and airplanes, especially after the commercial success of the first album Invitation To Eavesdrop
Shaun had been treating songwriting like work, instead of worship. The first song that really came out of that time period was “Here I Am.” As Shaun was reading Isaiah Chapter 6 the idea that Isaiah, the singer-songwriter, was going around telling others what was wrong with them, captured Shaun’s attention and God reminded him of how small he was. Then he had his perspective changed with the hot coal touched to his lips, he said "Here I Am, Send Me."
Shaun began to pray that he needed a moment like that to remember who he was and who God really is. The business had overwhelmed him to the point of emotional and creative exhaustion. So, just praying along with and studying Isaiah Chapter 6 for several weeks, what came along was a very simple song.
“It almost didn’t make the album," Shaun explains, "because it was so simple. It is now a song that gets used at concerts to help everyone including my own focus, by praying for God to 'save us, change us, mend us and send us.'"
"God does something to us that we can’t do to ourselves," Shaun continues, "and due to God’s mercy, remember that God can save us, change us and mend us. Because of our gratitude, we want to be sent out to live for Him."
Shaun’s childhood was so great, and he meets people on the road that don’t have that background. The older he gets and the more people he meets that don’t have that, those people in his life (parents, teachers, church) are why he gets so involved in children’s organizations to help others have that same childhood experience. Whether it is Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes, working at a children’s home while in college in Texas, and now with Compassion International. Every night Shaun sings “Here I Am,” he thinks about how he can be that same changing, mending, and sending agent that he was influenced by as a child himself. Shaun asks: “How have I been blessed? What does saving, changing, mending, and sending look like in my life?” For Shaun, it is working with children.
Lyrics to “Here I Am”:
In a crimson flood
From my wounded King
This changes everything
Here I am
Here I am
Here I am
Here I am send me
Some other songs I really like based on that same passage are “Isaiah 6” by Todd Agnew, “Filled With Your Glory” by Starfield and “Holy, Holy, Holy” by Phil Wickham. Whether it is the chorus of “Holy, Holy, Holy” or the beautiful cry of my heart “Here I Am,” this passage put to song really speaks to me. Seven hundred years before Jesus came to earth, Isaiah pointed us to the cross and the saving love of Jesus. Once we know His saving love, what does “Here I Am, Send Me” look like in your life? Thanks again Shaun for writing and singing my all-time favorite song based on my favorite passage in the Bible.
You can listen to my all-time favorite song here