So Send I You

Margaret Clarkson (1915-2008)

So send I you to labour unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for Me alone.

I sung this hymn as a student. It’s based on Jesus words to his disciples, ‘As my Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ His mission is to be their mission; it will be costly and hard; to me then it was the challenge of Christian discipleship.

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O’er wandering souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world a-weary
So send I you to suffer for My sake.

As a child in Canada Margaret Clarkson suffered with ill-health. Unable to be a missionary she trained as a teacher and taught in an isolated mining camp in northern Ontario. Her Christian convictions, pain and loneliness caused her to write ‘So Send I You’.

Some years later she realised that her hymn spoke only of sadness and trials. Still battling pain she re-wrote it to include strength and hope:

So send I you-by grace made strong to triumph
O’er hosts of hell, o’er darkness, death, and sin,
My name to bear, and in that name to conquer-
So send I you, my victory to win.

I’m musing this morning on the need for balance; our experiences or enthusiasms may bring biased or incomplete truth in life and faith. Focusing so much on one side we lose sight of the other.

We must balance strength with weakness, certainty with doubt, intellect with emotion, weeping with laughter, failures with success…

So send I you-my strength to know in weakness,
My joy in grief, my perfect peace in pain,
To prove My power, My grace, My promised presence-
So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.

‘So Send I You’ (based on John 20:21) was written by Margaret Clarkson (1915-2008) in 1938 and published in 1954. The re-written version was published in 1963.

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