Assuming you are not 50, there is still something to be learned from this song. Please give me one more chance to explain it, because this is me. Listen first, or we won't get anywhere.
This song is difficult to explain because it tells three stories at once, but (I think) they are all related.
Now, I confess, I've never read or heard anything from Benny Hester explaining this song. So everything I say will be my own interpretation. If you or Benny Hester have a better interpretation, I would be thrilled to hear it.
Three stories about 3 men: a traveling preacher, Jonah, and Benny Hester.
The song starts with a traveling preacher at a small church in Texas. Benny sets the scene: a small child with her mother, a couple filled with strife, and a disinterested 17 year old in a back row pew. The text for the evening, the story of Jonah.
God told Jonah to arise and go to Ninevah. He was to preach against their wickedness. Of course he ran the other way.
The scene shifts to Benny Hester reflecting on his mindset before a concert. Earnestly, he seeks God's help to touch someone's life, in spite of his deep recognition of his own shortcomings. He cries out, this is me.
The song continues to weave the story of Jonah in distress, a 17 year old suddenly engaged, and a preacher wondering at the mercy of God to use even those who run from Him time after time.
Something in the words of the traveling preacher, though missed by the couple and the little girl, touched the young man. A longing within him rose, that he might be used by God. The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time. This time he obeyed.
Then the boy, the singer, confesses this is me, the part of me that I'm so afraid for you to see.
And this is me. And this is you. We have been like Jonah, running from God. Time and again we missed the mark. Yet, we earnestly wish that God would use us to touch someone's life.
Lord, this is me. Use me, let someone's life be touched for you.
“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” Jonah 2:8-9 (NIV)