Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

HERE I AM! Vol 14 No 1

January 6, 2015

Dear Friend,

There is a simple Hebrew word “hineni,” pronounced hin-nai-ni, that means, “here I am.” It simply means, “I am available to do your bidding.” “How may I serve you today?”

God called to Abraham and he replied, “Hinnainee - Here I am, Lord” (Genesis 22:1). 
God called Jacob and he replied, “Hinnainee - Here I am, Lord” (Genesis 31:11).  
God called Moses and he replied, “Hinnainee - Here I am, Lord” (Exodus 3:4).
God asked of Isaiah, “Whom shall I send?” and he replied, “Here I am, send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). 

So we see that hinnainee is a really big deal to God and to God’s people!

There is no sarcasm in hinnainee offered with downcast face and raised eyebrow. If you reply to a request to take out the trash or to stay up all night with a sick child with a “here I am“ accompanied by sarcastic folded arms and a frowning face. That’s not “here I am – to serve,” but instead it's “here I am – not." It’s a hinnai-no and not a hinnainee.

Need me to drop by the grocery? “Here I am,” said warmly. You asking me to rake the leaves? “Here I am,” said graciously. Want me to lead a group at church or make a generous offering or serve on a board? “Here I am,” said confidently. Send me! I will do it with all of the grace and excellence I am capable of! Hinnainee!

May your New Year be the year in which you respond to our Lord and to the people in your life with hinnainee – here I am – how may I serve you today?

For a wonderful song by Raquel Pomerantz Gershon & Max Jared about hineni, check out

Joy to you - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2015 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV