Hymn Story: So, Send I You

Margaret Clarkson traveled to northern Ontario, Canada as a young twenty-three-year-old woman to work as a school teacher in a gold-mining camp town. 

Edith Margaret Clarkson

With her family and friend’s miles away, one can imagine the loneliness that set in.

Clarkson later said, “ “I experienced deep loneliness of every kind—mental, cultural and particularly, spiritual—I found no Bible-teaching church fellowship, and only one or two isolated Christians, in those years. Studying the Word one night and thinking of the loneliness of my situation, I came to John 20, and the words ‘So send I you.’ Because of a physical disability I could never go to the mission field, and this was where He had sent me. I had written verse all my life, so [in 1954] it was natural for me to express my thoughts in a poem.”

While reading the scriptures one evening, God spoke to her in the scripture found in John 20:21.  She focused on the phrase, “So Send I You.”

She realized that this was where God had sent her and this was her mission field, no matter how lonely it was. 

She began to write her thoughts down, which resulted in the birth of the beautiful poem that became this hymn.  She would go on to write many poems and articles over the years. 

She also shared, ““Some years later [in 1963] I realized that the poem was really very one-sided; it told only of the sorrows and privations of the missionary call and none of its triumphs. [So,] I wrote another song in the same rhythm so that verses could be used interchangeably, setting forth the glory and the hope of the missionary calling. This was published in 1963. Above all I wish to be a biblical writer, and the second hymn is the more biblical one.”

For over thirty years, she worked with the Toronto, Canada public school system in a variety of capacities. 

Margaret Clarkson had always longed to go to a foreign mission field but was unable due to a physical disability.  However, her ministry as a writer and educator have done much for the kingdom of God. 

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