Thursday, March 25, 2010

Positive, Powerful Words

Maryann Bird, from her book, The Whisper Test, shares the following story:
"I grew up knowing I was different. I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others. A little girl, with a misshapen lip, a crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech. When schoolmates asked, 'What happened to your lip?' I'd tell them I'd fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident rather than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one else other than my family could love me.

There was, however a teacher in the second grade we all adored. Mrs. Leonard, by name. She was short, round, happy. A sparkling lady. Annually, we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave it to everyone in the class. And finally it was my turn. I knew from past years as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher, sitting at her desk, would whisper something and we would have to say back what we heard her say. 'The sky is blue.' Or 'Do you have new shoes?' I waited for her words - the words that God must have put in her mouth - the seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard whispered, 'I wish you were my little girl.'"

What an incredible "shame lifter" Mrs. Leonard was for a little girl. Only seven words were spoken, but they changed her student's life. I wonder what words I could share today that would bring hope to those around me? 'Heavenly Father, help me to see those who need whispers of your love.' Oh, by the way, I believe the Lord Jesus continually whispers to a lost and hurting world, 'I wish you were mine.'