It's a funny thing that faith is. We take it for granted, ignore it, then wonder why it's so weak when we need it.
Sure, I grew up with churches. But whatever faith I had wasn't in God, or at least not much of it. We'd trust the church and the people who ran it. We'd take to heart the things that it taught. When something happened, when Tarin got sick or we ran out of food or someone didn't pay Father for his work, we'd pray. But not to God.
Why bother God, said we, when the saints would intercede for us? It made sense. Everything we did, even going without breakfast so we could pay our tithes, made perfect sense.
But then, I met Lukas. At first, nothing he did made sense. All monks have eight prayer services a day, but he only has three. Most Benedictines wear black, but Lukas wears brown. And while everyone else in Christendom prays to saints and angels, Lukas prays straight to God.
I've learned a fierce lot from Lukas, but some things are easier to accept with my head than they are with my heart. I know why he prays thrice a day--he hasn't time for anything else--and he wears brown clothes because it's the darkest color he can dye them. But deep in my heart, I couldn't decide what I believed about God.
But slowly, I've learned one thing that I'm fierce sure of. It's that God really, truly does love us. It's why He sent Jesus to save us. It's why He gave us the Bible, so we can come to love Him back. And it's why He gives us people like Lukas, to help us learn more than we ever could on our own.
And after I came to know this--not just in my head, but in my heart--I started to love God back. What love does is change people. It took Saul and turned him to Paul. It took a dead man and made him live. It took me, an orphan, and made me God's daughter.
And it'll do the same for you.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.