"Jane, I go in six weeks; I have taken my berth in an East Indiaman which sails on the 20th of June."
"God will protect you; for you have undertaken His work," I answered.
"Yes," said he, "there is my glory and joy. I am the servant of an infallible Master. I am not going out under human guidance, subject to the defective laws and erring control of my feeble fellow-worms: my king, my lawgiver, my captain, is the All-perfect. It seems strange to me that all round me do not burn to enlist under the same banner,--to join in the same enterprise."
"All have not your powers, and it would be folly for the feeble to wish to march with the strong."
"I do not speak to the feeble, or think of them: I address only such as are worthy of the work, and competent to accomplish it."
"Those are few in number, and difficult to discover."
"You say truly; but when found, it is right to stir them up--to urge and exhort them to the effort--to show them what their gifts are, and why they were given--to speak Heaven's message in their ear,--to offer them, direct from God, a place in the ranks of His chosen."
"If they are really qualified for the task, will not their own hearts be the first to inform them of it?"
I felt as if an awful charm was framing round and gathering over me: I trembled to hear some fatal word spoken which would at once declare and rivet the spell.
"And what does YOUR heart say?" demanded St. John.
"My heart is mute,--my heart is mute," I answered, struck and thrilled.
I cannot count all the times I have heard similar messages in my years within the Church. Though often stirred by such appeals, there has never been a time where I felt that my own heart was receiving a call to trek to some distant land as a messenger of Good News.
And subsequently feeling, of course, that I was a substandard Christian for not having the slightest desire to leave the comforts of America for a foreign culture.
When it comes to the missions call, my heart is mute. Some would say that the need exists is call enough. Yet, I know within the bounds of my own neighborhood are as many untouched by the Truth in Scripture as any thousands of miles away. God will reveal in His own time whether I have deceived myself out of fear or if truly the call is a unique, personal, and fit for only a few...