--A note for the reader by Lukas McCamden.
"Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God"--2 Corinthians 3:5.
Ever since the Lord gave me the precious gift of Alynn, this verse has contained a special significance to me. Of all the people on St. Anne's Cleft (and indeed, on its surrounding islands), I feel that I am the least qualified to raise a child. Not only has it been thirty-nine years since my father went home to be with the Lord, I was not raised with the privilege of a mother or sisters. I have spent many hours in prayer, asking God why He entrusted me with a child.
The Lord answered me with two statements: First, that Alynn is hardly a child anymore; and second, that my adequacy is of no effect. Was Abraham, after all, worthy of being called the father of our faith? Were Mary and Joseph qualified to raise the Christ child? In the same way, it is neither by title nor talent that we are counted worthy to bear the blessings of God.
If divine tasks were given only to those who deserved it, there would be no one to fulfill the will of God on this earth. Just as a craftsman can make do with whatever materials he has, so can God work His plans through flawed individuals.
I know not of the problems facing the twenty-first century church, but I assure you they are no different than those of a thousand years ago. Perhaps God has placed a call on your life, one that you do not feel adequate for or worthy of. Perhaps you feel that you do not know enough Scripture, have not said enough prayers, not sung enough hymns, to lead someone to Christ. Perhaps you are called to take upon yourself a position of leadership in your church, but feel that you are unworthy.
I too have felt these fears, and they are unfounded. God used Peter, a fisherman; Matthew, a tax collector; to found the early church. Thrice, Peter denied that he even knew Christ, and yet though his sermon on the day of Pentecost, three thousand people were saved. Our God, Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, has not altered His standards. He asks that His children be receptive, obedient, and willing to grow. The blood of Christ covers everything else.
If I were to chose any child on this earth to raise, I would have chosen Alynn. Her spirit is gentle, her mind receptive, her heart yearning for the love of Christ. She is my daughter in Christ, and I strive with the grace of God to raise her as I should. The Lord forgives my failures, and I know she does as well. I simply pray that every day, step by step on the path the Lord has called me on, I grow into the man He has called me to be.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.